Kenya Ministers, assistants disagree

July 2, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 2 – The never ending tussle between Cabinet Ministers and their Assistants came to the fore on Thursday after three Assistant Ministers accused their bosses of unilaterally running the Ministry.

In a joint news conference, Youth Affairs and Sports Assistant Ministers Wavinya Ndeti and Kabando wa Kabando and their Industrialisation counterpart Nderitu Muriithi accused their respective Ministers of flouting appointment guidelines in the recruitment of parastals heads in their ministries.

Mr Kabando said: “The current concerns about the running of some ministries revolve around the way the political heads choose to conduct business. Their actions are reminiscent of past management practices; erratic, bad, pedestrian and singularly lacking in corporate governance.”

He said they were ready to face the sack rather than watch over what he termed as, ‘moral and political decay and a leadership by the seniors’.

“This is the message that should go to the Prime Minister and President; that they have appointed us but we are not going to tail wag to any minister misbehaving or unprocedurally and irregularly mismanaging state corporations or conducting business of our ministries in a whimsical manner,” he said.

Mr Kabando and Ms Ndeti, who last month publicly broke ranks with their Sports Minister Hellen Sambili over her handling over the naming rights contract for the Nyayo National Stadium, said they had met with PM Raila Odinga over the issue.

Ms Ndeti on her part claimed that most of the appointments made were based on regional and ethnic inclinations.

“I sincerely believe that the PM must be a disappointed man, with the person he chose to be the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sport, in fact he had difficulty himself to try and even communicate with her since she was almost difficult even to listen to the PM for two hours. This is a person who doesn’t delegate duties” Mr Kabando said.

At the same time, the Industrialisation Assistant Minister said that they had written to the Prime Minister and President asking them to intervene over what they term lack of proper management practices by their seniors.

Mr Nderitu said a lot of reform minded public officers in the civil services were being frustrated by the, ‘lack of simple management hygiene’.

“It’s not a matter of grand standing, we want corporate governance. Its not an issue of what will we do or what will you do. Its an issue of all of us as Kenyans standing up to say enough is enough let us embrace reforms lets us move forward let’s not go back to past practices of just appointing people willy-nilly” said Mr Muriithi.

Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey has been involved in a controversy with his Permanent Secretary over the fate of the parastatal heads whose contracts expire this month.

The Minister had indicated that the contracts of Kenya Industrial Estate Managing Director William Shimanyula and his counterpart at the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute Tom Ogada would not be renewed.

A similar fate faced the Industrial Development Bank’s chief executive.

However, Permanent Secretary John Lonyangapuo overturned the decision and ruled that their contracts would be extended for another three years.


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