Kenya: public service not to get
Monday 10 March 2008
The recently- signed, power-sharing deal between the government
and opposition does not affect senior positions in the civil
service, the judiciary and state corporations, Kenya’s head of
civil service and secretary to the cabinet, Mr. Francis Muthaura,
In a statement that is likely to elicit sharp reaction from the
opposition, Mr. Muthaura said that in terms of protocol, the
yet-to-be created position of prime minister and two deputies
would be junior to the vice president.
The statement put a damper on the widely-held view that opposition
leader Raila Odinga would be head of government, while President
Mwai Kibaki would be head of state.
He said, "In terms of protocol, the vice president, being the
principal assistant to the president, ranks higher than the prime
minister and therefore you do not expect him to answer to his
It was reported at the weekend that senior positions in the
government would be reserved for opposition supporters as a way of
bringing about national reconciliation following two months of
inter-ethnic violence over disputed presidential poll.
"The accord does not include sharing of jobs in the public service.
Therefore, it should be clear that appointments in the public
service are governed by the constitution or act of parliament," he
He added that the clarification was necessary "to avoid
politicisation of the civil service".
Muthaura said holders of constitutional offices, permanent
secretaries (who are the chief accounting officers in the
ministries), ambassadors, judges of the high court, chairpersons
of boards and a few chief executives will be appointed by the
He said he was responding to media reports that the opposition
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) was lining up supporters to be
given plum jobs in the public service, diplomatic corps and state
The civil service boss said the composition of the cabinet would
remain the prerogative of the president, although the opposition
leader would recommend to the president names of opposition
members of parliament for inclusion in the cabinet.