, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 14 – Public Servants who serve Kenyans diligently will be rewarded, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
He said those who deliver will be rewarded by promotion and career progressive but hastily warned those who are not committed that they will be weeded out to make room for other Kenyans inclined to serve.
“We will reward those committed to delivering prompt and good services to the people they serve. For far too long we have focused on the few negative elements who gave public service delivery in Kenya a bad name. But those, I guarantee you, shall be weeded out as we continue to reward those who have chosen to serve their nation with dedication,” the President said.
President Kenyatta spoke when he honoured diligent public servants at the inaugural Huduma Ombudsman Awards ceremony at Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi. Six individuals and five public institutions received awards for exemplary service to the country.
Police Constable Martin Munene Githinji – who died while saving Kenyans during the terror attack at Westgate Mall last year – posthumously received the Ombudsman Valour Award for his bravery and commitment to duty.
Others were Hellen Nechesa Machuka – the Principal of Kombeni Girls’ Secondary School, Rabai in Kilifi – who emerged the winner in the individual category followed by Assistant County Commissioner Peter Kamande Mbugua of Marsabit, Chief Andrew Kipkurgat Rumenya of Kimalel Location in Baringo County, Chief Josphat Murungi Ithali of Kendani in Maua County and Chief Daniel Omondi Obure of Lambwe West Location.
In the institutional category, Othaya Boys High School took the top position followed by Kenya School of Government -Baringo, Shimo Borstal Institution, Kenya School of Government -Nairobi and Kaptech Dispensary in Kaimosi.
President Kenyatta urged other public servants to emulate the top performers and ensure that Kenyans received the services they deserved.
“Kenya’s success depends not just on those who have their pictures taken by the journalists, but also on those public servants who work diligently and quietly outside the limelight, whether protecting the nation, advancing education, or helping the weakest in society,” President Kenyatta said.
He observed that the Commission on Administrative Justice -as the Ombudsman’s office is known – has established itself as a core part of the country’s constitutional order and Kenyans have shown their trust in its work by referring thousands of complaints to it. In 2013, the Commission received over 18,000 out of which more than 11,000 were resolved.
He asked all public institutions to cooperate with the Ombudsman’s office and other oversight offices set up by the constitution to wipe out delays, discourtesy, corruption and inefficiency that had crept into some of the public services.
“Many of those who voted for the new Constitution were motivated by their experience of public service that fell below minimally acceptable standards. We, as a country, chose to end the blight – to renew our nation and our public service – by voting a new supreme law for ourselves,” he said
Commending the award recipients, President Kenyatta said: “It is not easy to train for years, and then dedicate your life and skills to the service of your countrymen – who are not always grateful for the service, it must be said. To dedicate your working life to the good of the country requires an especially deep patriotism. You are models of that love of our country.”
He said the recent security threats have reminded Kenyans the value of community, adding that it has also reminded those who were cynical about the Kenya’s nationhood that there is a country which is precious to its people, and which they will defend with all that they have.
United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Nardos Bekele-Thomas pledged her organization’s support to the Government as it enhances efficiency and effectiveness in public service delivery.
Devolution Cabinet Secretary, Anne Waiguru, assured Kenyans that the one-stop-shop Huduma Centres the Government initiated in Nairobi and Machakos will be rolled out to all counties to entrench the delivery of prompt and quality public services.
Other speakers were Attorney-General Githu Muigai and Commission on Administrative Justice Chairman, Otieno Amollo.