, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26 – President Mwai Kibaki on Monday cautioned public servants to remain focused on service delivery despite mounting political activity as the country prepares for the next general election.
The Head of State also warned politicians against engaging in premature election campaigns saying they must observe and respect the calendar of events, facilitated by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, ahead of the polls.
President Kibaki, who was speaking during the release of government performance contracting results, stressed that the upcoming elections should not derail any government projects.
“This will ensure that we do not begin illegal and premature campaigns. There is much that we need to do for the Kenyan people in the months ahead,” he said.
“Let us therefore keep focus on the work ahead and not be distracted by the many sideshows expected in the countdown to the elections,” he argued.
Civil servants intending to vie for elective posts are required to resign from public office at least eight months before the elections.
Potential candidates are also required to refrain from participating in fundraising within eight months preceding a general election.
President Kibaki also emphasised that performance contracting remained critical in the attainment of Vision 2030 as it provided clear accountability systems in addition to a highly developed manpower resource in the public service.
“Performance contracting has radically transformed how our public institutions are managed. Indeed, the rallying call of ‘What gets measured gets done’ has been spot on. This spirit has now been captured in the Constitution,” he noted.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga also spoke to the challenge that the forthcoming polls posed to the realisation of government projects.
He told public servants not to lose sight of the country’s economic targets saying they were crucial to the realisation of Vision 2030.
“Everyone is waiting anxiously to see how the government manages the coming general elections; together we must defy the sceptics. And you must remember that the taxpayer will not continue maintaining liabilities in the name of lethargic public officers,” he charged.
Odinga further censured some government agencies for failing the nation in achieving better rates of economic growth due to inadequacies.
He attributed the slow pace in growth to failure by the agencies to implement government programmes and projects within the set time frames.
“I am convinced that the biggest impediment to achieving our growth target is the inadequate delivery of services by the government,” he said.
The premier also took issues with some government institutions for disregarding directives to adhere to the policy of performance contracting and warned that their non-compliance was unacceptable.
He warned that appropriate action will be taken to curtail such “resistant impunity” and ensure that all “institutions particularly those in public banking and investment ‘complied.
“Our ultimate goal is to be a newly industrialised middle-income country providing a high quality of life to all citizens in a clean and secure environment,” the PM said.