Kenya govt to defend provincial administration

November 29, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 29 – Head of the Civil Service Ambassador Francis Muthaura has said that the government will strongly defend the existence of the Provincial Administration, which the harmonized Draft Constitution has proposed to scrap.

Amb Muthaura said on Saturday that the Provincial Administration “plays a pivotal role in the running government affairs especially at the grass root levels, hence the need to continue having it in place.”

The harmonized Draft Constitution has called for the dissolution of the Provincial Administration whose public officers will be re-deployed by the Public Service Commission (PSC).

In effect, it means all Provincial Commissioners, District Commissioners, District Officers and other officers including the Administration Police as a whole, will serve under other proposed systems of government.

The draft states in part: “Upon the holding of elections, the system of administration commonly known as the Provincial Administration shall stand dissolved and the national government shall restructure its administrative arrangements to accord with and respect the system of devolved government established under this Constitution.

Public officers formerly serving under the system known as the Provincial Administration shall report to the Public Service Commission for re-deployment.”

At the same time, Amb Muthaura announced that the government would continue carrying out double recruitments for the police to help achieve the numbers required to maintain security in the country.

He did not however, state if the government intended to contravene proposals in the Ransley report, which has called for the suspension of all police and Administration Police recruitments until October next year to accumulate funds for desired reforms.

Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi, who joined Amb Muthaura in addressing professionals at the Chuka University College, said he too “supports the existence of the Provincial Administration.”

The Imenti South Member of Parliament said he was “opposed to it when he was in the Opposition but has since realised its importance.”

Last week, Internal Security Permanent Secretary Francis Kimemia announced that the ministry was “preparing a strong defense to be argued before the Committee of Experts to ensure the Provincial Administration is not scrapped”.

“The Provincial Administration has been tested through history and proved to be viable, we can not afford to do without it,” Mr Kimemia said at a passing out parade for senior Administration Police officers at their Embakasi College in Nairobi.

He said the ministry would defend the existence of the Provincial Administration under which the AP officers fall.

The PS said they are opposed to this particular clause and revealed that even Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti was involved in consultations with other authorities over the matter.

“Even our Minister has been arguing the case in the highest levels,” the PS said.

Prof Saitoti, who was present at the pass out parade last week appeared to choose his words carefully only saying, “Indeed the Executive Committee on the constitution at the time of unveiling of that draft did make it clear that that document is not written on a stone, and that Kenyans are now at liberty to deliberate on that document and there is a period of 30 days. We are looking into that document and we will be coming out with a position as a government indeed as all Kenyans ought to do.”

Mr Kimemia, who spoke passionately about the Provincial Administration said that adopting the proposal to scrap the system of government would amount to destroying “institutions which have proved to be efficient over the years.”

“Lets not just imitate what other countries are doing, lets borrow what is good from them without destroying what we have,” he warned.


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