A reformed progressive cabinet is what Kenyans need - Lawyer George N. Kimani

Implementation of the constitution must remain a paramount agenda in the year 2011. The Parliament should urgently put into place the necessary legislations to effect the process. However, there are some critical institutions which yearn for urgent reforms and reconstitution.

The institution of cabinet as currently constituted in size, credibility and integrity cries for urgent reconstitution at least to be in consonance with the spirit of the constitution. Kenyans deserve progressive and reformed institutions. Establishment of strong institution will earn citizens confidence and avoid embarrassing situations where foreigners have in the past intervened to give prescriptions on issues of governance and internal disputes resolution on matters such as PEV.

Public office holders must be men and women of integrity. President Kibaki should submit to the spirit of the constitution and appoints a dignified council of ministers. The new constitution calls for a lean, credible and efficient cabinet. Chapter 6 of the constitution provides that all public officers including ministers must be people of sound morals and integrity.

Individuals with retrogressive ideas: tainted morals, questionable history in public/private service or known disgraceful political records should exit the cabinet forthwith. It is despicable that people whose names are synonymous with corruption, nepotism and outright incompetence continue to sit in the government.

Cabinet ministers who are suspected of perpetrating mega scams have no business masquerading as leaders and should resign and or be forced out of office. Land grabbers, thieves of public monies, tribalists and other barbarians should be ejected from the cabinet.

It is ironical that a culture of stepping aside is creeping in the public service; suspected public office abusers must upon resigning must be replaced with men and women of honour.

Public servants must demonstrate high level of leadership both in their public and private engagements. They must remain patriotic and sensitive to real challenges facing the nation and its citizens. A leader who seems indifferent to plight affecting Wananchi and the nation has
no business sitting in a public office. Arrogant comments attributable to some members of cabinet leave one wondering whether they live in the same society with the rest of Kenyans.

Recently I read a documentary of a cabinet minister who was quoted priding himself of owning 1500 hectares ranch and several others in Nakuru, feeding a lion at 1.4 million shilling and shamelessly making joke of naming a cheeter cage in his ranch as Hague. Such a minister is in the same category as his colleague who rudely belches in an air condition office castigating poor workers for not remitting premiums for NHIF funds and announcing his lunch date worth 2500/= shillings.

This altitude is not good for public servants since public service is honour which should be courted with dedication, humbleness and patriotism.

Ours is a capitalist society and there is nothing wrong with leading affluent lifestyles, however in a country afflicted by IDP menace, landlessness, abject poverty, insecurity, alcoholism, unemployment and other myriads social economic and political challenges a sensible leader should keep to himself issues which would appear to ridicule ordinary citizens.

It is pertinent to remind such leaders that this country is seating on a time bomb as the social economic gap in our society continue to widen due to inequitable distribution of public resources and opportunities. Sound policies to narrow this social-economic gap must be found to avoid an imminent explosion.

As the country struggle with the best solution to address the PEV and how to redeem its image in the international forum particularly on issue of seeking justice for victims and suspects of PEV and enhancement of national reconciliation, peace and sovereignty. It is abominable for some leaders make dry jokes of The Hague issue and or celebrate the circumstances of the suspects. Rather such leaders should engage their minds in exploring suitable ways of settling this issue
including establishment a special domestic court

Politicians who wine tribalism, dine nepotism, dream corruption should be uprooted from the cabinet. Ministers who crusade against settlement of IDP at certain parts of the country represent dark days of yester politics. This is contrary to express constitutional provisions allowing citizens to live and coexist anywhere in the country. Equally disgraceful are ministers who hold misguided thinking that government tenders, contracts and appointments are a preserve of their kin and kith. Kenyan should be spared such people as their leaders..

As the country address itself to the issue of public service appointments, it will be repugnant to hold a belief that certain fellows have monopoly of occupying cabinet slots due to their political
associations, dynasties and affiliations. A casual observation reveals that at least three quotas of the sitting ministers are unsuitable for office.

Recently the country witnessed sound political contribution from first timer’s legislators in parliamentary committee. This is clear confirmation that this country is not short of capable leaders. Men and women who have in the past demonstrated impeccable credentials in the reform process should serve in the government and not otherwise.

George N. Kimani,(The author is an Advocate of the High Court, Email.gkihingo@yahoo.com)

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