Gradually, President Uhuru Kenyatta is laying the groundwork and a framework that is critical for ensuring he leaves a rich legacy when he exits from the top post.
And this will require that he manages the politics of his succession very well – he must stamp his authority strategically lest it spills over and ruins his plans.
Succession politics in Kenya as elsewhere globally, is tricky, and unless managed and directed well, can be disruptive. As it is now, the succession issue seems to be taking the upper hand in the national debate and is clouding national development.
The road had a bumpy start and a number of people around him – including in the government – charged with the critical reform agenda needed for such a legacy, were showing frustration, but all seems to be going in the right direction now.
More importantly, with the political temperatures going down in the country, the President must take charge of the legacy building processes; otherwise there are dangers that a number of people, including some civil servants, politicians and corruption cartels could derail the legacy project.
The serious and various competing interests might make the legacy project a mirage, and that is why the President has every reason to be in charge and give direction at all stages. Good ideas are killed by bad execution.
The choice of the legacy projects is very relevant and close to the hearts of Kenyans; the Big Four Agenda on housing, health, manufacturing and food security are categorised under second generation human rights largely known as the economic, social and cultural rights that resonate with a majority of Kenyans. If well executed, these will be what the President is remembered by.
If you look at what some ministries and public agencies are doing in terms of service delivery to Kenyans, especially those at the core of the Agenda Four, you probably start noticing either sabotage, inefficiency or inability to catch up with the President’s desire.
Grand ideas from Cabinet and Principal Secretaries, and the various special advisors to the presidency who are under pressure to deliver will not mature in the new future, if the old network and gods in the service are not reshuffled or even sacked.
Indeed, so far, we see a lot of energy in the political and public service arenas being spent on fighting political opponents at the expense of spending time to understand internal challenges holding back civil service delivery.
In fact, unlike the President, who many times when he sneezes, some things move, other senior members of his administration get very frustrated by civil servants who simply refuse to accept the new ways of doing things.
The President needs a core calibre of political leadership and those in the public service with the commitment to expedite delivery of services to Kenyans as expected under the Big Four Agenda.
The President should also work around ensuring that some of his team members do not alienate the public from the government through corruption and plunder of public resources, because public support is critical to the achievement of the big four and his legacy.
The Head of State will only achieve his legacy by first creating the necessary energy needed to face these public service mandarins, who are holding the country at ransom.
There is need for the President to initiate serious consultation and discussion within the top political leadership and civil servants, where the issue of one centre of power must be looked into and agreement reached that public reforms are a critical ingredient in the push to realize his legacy.
Mr President, you must face these rogues in the civil service, crack the whip and enable your administration to deliver the promises you made to Kenyans. Recycling sycophants, corruption kingpins, crooks and anti-reformers of yester governments is a task you should deal with.
There is an urgent need to transform the public service from one plagued with inefficiency, wastage and citizen aloofness to one that is geared towards creating a legacy; citizen oriented, and results oriented, ethical and efficient.