NAIROBI, April 15 – Newly appointed ministers set up shop in their new offices on Tuesday with pledges to improve service delivery during their terms in government.
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang’ and Public Service Minister Dalmas Otieno are among those who assumed responsibilities on Tuesday.
Others include Public Health and Sanitation Minister Beth Mugo, Regional Development Authorities Minister Fred Gumo, Water Minister Charity Ngilu and Assistant Ministers Margaret Wanjiru (Housing), Aden Sugow (Public Service) among others.
Kenyatta urged other leaders to dedicate themselves to their work and deliver to Kenyans.
He expressed the need for leaders to demonstrate unity and accountability in delivering service to the public.
“It is time for us to shun our political differences and now focus single-mindedly on the issues that affect the common mwananchi,” the Minister said.
His predecessor Dr Mukhisa Kituyi who handed over the office regretted that Kenya’s good image had been shattered by the recent post-election violence that rocked the country.
Kajwang of Mbita constituency who was appointed to oversee the Immigration Ministry on his part said he would fast track the implementation of computerised systems in the ministry.
He expressed the need for all government departments to take advantage of the e-government programme to computerise their manual systems in order to improve service delivery.
The Minister pledged to implement the dual-citizenship legislation in the country.
“I think that is what some modernised economies do to serve economic and travel purposes and all the things that go with it,” he said.
Public Service Minister Dalmas Otieno also pledged to introduce reforms in his ministry.
“This ministry has been going through the process of transforming the attitudes and capabilities, interests and objectives of most of the public servants so that they become servants of the people. Service is what counts first and not the authority of the office,” he said.
He called on other ministers to facilitate the return to work of all civil servants displaced during the recent skirmishes.
Newly appointed Minister for Public Health and Sanitation Beth Mugo who also reported to her new office at Afya House used the occasion to promise to focus more on preventive rather than curative health.
Mugo said her ministry would strengthen preventive services as well as add more emphasis on sanitation to avert the sporadic outbreak of diseases.
“I believe that future health delivery in this nation lies in preventive medicine more than curative medicine. It is cheaper and keeps everybody healthy besides being cost-effective,” she noted.
The Minister reiterated the government’s commitment to provide adequate health care to all and promised to prioritise the health status of Internally Displaced Persons across the country.
“We will definitely move in to make sure that their health is not affected due to poor sanitation,” she pledged.
Westlands legislator Fred Gumo, who was appointed the Minister for Regional Development Authorities also took office and undertook to create jobs in every part of the country to cater for unemployed youth.
Gumo said the move is aimed at reducing rural-urban migration, since jobs would be available in all regions.
“The biggest challenge we have is for those youth who are qualified but have no jobs. It is unfair to find university graduates selling newspapers on the streets,” he noted.
On her part, Assistant Minister for Housing Bishop Margaret Wanjiru said she intended to focus on ensuring affordable housing for Kenyans.
She outlined the eradication of slums in the country as one of her major priorities.
Bishop Wanjiru is the Member of Parliament for Starehe constituency which hosts Mathare, the second largest slum in Nairobi.
“We’ve got so many slums in our country, I am very happy now that I can at least look and say God willing, we can be able to change the slums to better housing for our people. It is a great opportunity,” she said.