Nakuru County Commissioner Mr. Gilbert Kitiyo has advised chiefs and their assistants to enroll for further education so that they could be eligible for promotion to higher positions within the national government.
Kitiyo said through the current scheme of service for chiefs and their assistants, the administrators could now rise to other positions, starting from assistant county commissioners, deputy county commissioners, county commissioners and regional coordinators, but only a few had demonstrated ‘ambition to go back to the classroom’.
The County Commissioner stated that the government recognizes the important role chiefs and their assistants played in the country and, as such, had come up with the scheme of service to motivate them. He indicated that under the revised scheme of service, the sky is the limit for chiefs and their assistants.
“A chief can rise to take any position in the national government administration structure so long as they have the relevant qualifications. So, the onus is on chiefs and their assistants to enroll for further education,” Kitiyo added
Under the previous scheme of service, chiefs and their assistants could only rise up to the level of senior chief.
Kitiyo who made the remarks during a fact finding tour of Kuresoi South, Kuresoi North and Molo Sub-Counties ordered a fresh crackdown on the production and sale of illicit alcoholic drinks.
The administrator called on national government officers to serve their citizens diligently without any kind of discrimination.
He noted that in the 2010 constitution, it is the right of the citizens as taxpayers to get government services or information as required.
The coordinator asked deputy county commissioners, chiefs and their assistants to intensify the operation and ensure the culprits are arrested.
He further directed them to ensure that brokers did not infiltrate the subsidized fertilizer supply chain.
The County Commissioner further called on residents intending to conduct land transactions to exercise due diligence before taking any decision that would lead to them being conned in the process.
Kitiyo noted that use of forged documents in land dealings had the potential of sparking off conflicts and costly court cases.
With the rising cases of scammers, the administrator underscored the need to conduct title deed search in order to establish the rightful owners of the land.
“It is painful to lose huge amounts of money for land that you never knew whether it existed or its public land. And therefore the public must be extremely careful before exchanging any money for land. We do not want conflicts fueled by fraudulent land dealings,” he cautioned.
He pointed out that credible information could be found on the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning’s online platform ‘ArdhiSasa’ which is free of charge.
The administrator advised locals to engage services of well-known lawyers once they want to buy or sell land to help with the land transfer process.
“With the number of fraudsters out there waiting to scam people, it is pretty difficult to look at a document and ascertain whether it’s real or fake as the cons have come up with really clever ways of making a title deed look as real as possible,” he warned
During the tour Kitiyo held a series of meetings with Deputy County Commissioners, Assistants County Commissioners, Departmental heads, chiefs and assistant chiefs.
He petitioned the Judiciary to set up a Small Claims Courts at Sub-County level to enhance justice for the public through a quick, inexpensive and informal process. The Small Claims Courts handle commercial disputes involving Sh1 million and below.
Kitiyo noted that apart from the official languages of English and Kiswahili, the court allows parties to use indigenous languages, Braille and other forms of communication accessible to people with disabilities.
“Unlike the long process required by other courts to file a suit, plaintiffs in the Small Claims Court only need to download a claimant form from the Judiciary’s website. The claimant form explains the nature of the suit presented to a court. Claimants pay less than Sh1, 000 in nominal fees,”
The County Commissioner added that the court was all-inclusive, as complainants who cannot afford lawyers can file their suits personally since the whole procedure had been simplified.
Under the Small Claims Court Act, all cases should be heard and determined within 60 days of presenting the claim.
The judgments should also be delivered less than three days from the date of the hearing.
The court deals with civil disputes of contract engagements, compensation for injuries, recovery for movable property and liability for losses.
The Act does not allow the court to entertain claims for defamation, malicious prosecution, slander, land disputes or criminal matters.
The Judiciary is carrying out public awareness programmes at the Nyeri Law Courts, where the second such court will be set up.
By Anne Mwale