Muthaura jumped the gun
March 12, 2008: Francis Muthaura, the head of Public Service and
Secretary to the Cabinet, must have jumped the gun when he spoke
on Monday. When Parliament starts to look at the powers and
functions bestowed on various offices under the proposed coalition
government, his office is unlikely to be spared.
Leaving the office untouched poses the threat of duplication of
duty. If the work of the Prime Minister is to oversee the
implementation of Cabinet decisions and supervision of ministries,
then the role of the head of public service needs to be re-defined
Mr Muthaura’s clarification adds to existing political confusion
since Parliament, which has the final authority to interpret and
legalise the political deal , has yet to do so. The much Mr
Muthaura should have said was that Kenya would retain an
independent and non-partisan public service.
The so-called sharing of public service jobs does not augur well.
We should not make the public panic by alluding that workers will
be hired and fired on the basis of ethnic community and perceived
For by doing so that will be the end of an independent public
The last time we had something similar to a Premiership was in
1986 when Simeon Nyachae held the powerful chief secretary
position after taking over from Jeremiah Kiereini. By the time it
was scrapped the office holder had so much sway that members of
parliament likened it to Prime Minister.
There has been loose talk, media speculation and jostling for
possible positions. That should not have happened.