Why we should scrap Transport Ministry

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BY EVELYNE NJOROGE

 

I once sat for three hours listening to a boring lecture from the articulate Chirau Ali Mwakwere on what is or isn’t his Transport Ministry’s mandate. At that time I really didn’t care about what he was saying.

Needless to say, that was one of those days when you really have to think hard to come up with a palatable story that the listeners and readers have not heard before.

The lesson from Mr Mwakwere was almost forgotten immediately, I mean you have heard the chorus “that is not my work; ask the enforcers,” many times than you’d care to count, right?

But lately with the return of the Grim Reaper on the road, the uproar on Mr Mwakwere’s competence –or lack of it- is back.

I dare say though that we are beginning to sound like broken records. I mean how many times do we have to complain-to ourselves- about road carnage and the indiscipline on the Kenyan roads? Don’t we realise that the guy we are fuming about doesn’t give a damn?

Where I come from they call that “strumming the guitar for the goat to dance”. I’m sure Mwakwere himself wonders what is wrong with Kenyans as well.

My colleague recently wrote a blog telling the honourable MP from Matuga (pun intended), that it’s our way or the highway. If Mwakwere read it, I’m sure he smiled to himself and in his satirical coastal accented Swahili said “Sing’atuki ng’o! Atakaye kunitoa, aje mwenyewe anitoe. Zipapa, zipapa!”

This got me thinking, we are dealing with a guy who’s very sure about himself and maybe the power that he wields over the appointing authority. So it would take a miracle to remove him from not only that docket but the Cabinet as well.

But assuming there was another ingenious way of getting the son of Mwakwere from that docket… What if we scrapped the Ministry of Transport all together?

Here’s my reasoning.

The “Mheshimiwa” has time and again told us that his work is to formulate policies. This I can confirm is true, well partly. As visitor number 014510 on the ministry’s website, I also found that the ministry is also “in charge of developing, reviewing and OVERSEEING ENFORCEMENT of policies in the transport and meteorological sectors”.

This is one responsibility which our dear minister has refused to acknowledge.

Ok, so we can’t force responsibilities on the good minister’s throat, but if we looked at the flip side of his arguments, then its fair to deduce that Mwakwere and his cronies at the ministry are just joyriders, maybe “ghost workers” at best.

What business do they have working in a ministry whose mandate was crafted many decades ago? If theirs is to formulate laws, then I dare say that the legislations that the country has to guide the sector are already in place.

We therefore don’t need a bunch of ‘ghost’ workers waking up in the morning, reporting to the office and pretending to work while in actual sense, there’s nothing to do.

The ministry gets a budget allocation of approximately Sh2.1billion per annum. Do you know what a difference that kind of money would make in the traffic police department?

I bet it would be enough to buy motorbikes for traffic cops, maybe install those speed cameras all over town and basically computerise the transport system to bring order on our roads.

The junior ‘ghost’ workers would then be redeployed to other ministries where hopefully they would get some work to do….say like filing papers while the big fish (read the incompetent Mwakwere) would be forced to retire, of course with a handsome package so that he can comfortably enjoy his “mnazi”.

That way everyone would win…everyone that is except the Death Agent who over the last few years had a field day taking Kenya’s young and productive people in the society.

(Evelyne Njoroge is the Capital FM Ag. Business Editor)

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