Former President Mwai Kibaki has been eulogized as a leader who transformed Public Service by putting in place a proper rewards’ system for the hardworking and consequences for those who did not meet the mark.
Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Maalim Mohammed said Kibaki, who died at 91 last Friday, worked with technocrats and established a robust structure that subjected the Civil Service to rigorous performance measurements and public perception tests which attracted and retained men and women of quality.
Mohammed pointed out that through the establishment of the National Economic and Social Council (NESC), Kibaki set up a foundation for the public- private sector engagement that the country currently enjoys and continues to enhance through the President’s Delivery Unit (PDU) under President Uhuru Kenyatta.
While describing Kenya’s third President as a true statesman who steadied the country’s economy, the Regional Commissioner noted that Kibaki ensured that public servants worked without interference from politicians, prominent businessmen and other influential personalities.
Speaking at the Regional headquarters in Nakuru when he inaugurated the signing of the former head of state’s condolence book, the administrator added that Kibaki on assumption of office in 2002 began envisioning a Civil Service defined by discipline, hard work, high morale, efficiency and high ethical standards.
“He taught us that it was possible to run a Civil Service that thrives on seniority and merit-based promotions. He eliminated conflict of interest in the civil service. This had been the main cause of the corruption, public mistrust and poor and delayed services that had come to be associated with the public sector,” the Regional Commissioner added.
Noting that Kenya has maintained a highly functional Civil Service, Mohammed stated that the departed former president helped design and adhered to a clear career progression path for civil servants, that stands no matter which party or leader is in power.
“He laid the solid foundation upon which the rest of us are building and he has been a great inspiration Kenyans especially his focus on the economy of our country that today is our focus,” said the administrator
Mohammed urged the young generation to study Kibaki’s exemplary deeds and emulate the Great Son of Africa. “He will be remembered for his faithful and excellent service to his motherland and Africa,” Mohammed added.
The Regional Commissioner said Kibaki was a true freedom fighter and a great leader who valued team spirit adding that the former Head of State was adept at creating team spirit and inspiring public servants and his ministers.
He stated that one of the outstanding achievements of the departed former president’s administration besides universal free primary education and development of infrastructure was provision of support for the formulation of an enabling environment to guide the growth of the local mobile telephony market.
“He provided immense support that allowed the adoption and transition of technologies that enable us to enjoy an almost 99% mobile coverage in Kenya today,” observed the administrator
In his message of condolence delivered by Nakuru County Chief of Staff Gichuhi Njoroge, Governor Lee Kinyanjui said Kenya has lost an illustrious son and a great economist who contributed to Pan-Africanism.
Governor Kinyanjui stated that Kibaki provided Kenyans with strong leadership driven by unique professionalism, not always associated with politics.
Kinyanjui noted, “Gifted with an enormous grasp of diverse issues and subjects, coupled with an easy manner of relating to people, he made it very easy for both the political class and civil servants to work with him. For him, no suggestion was too small or opinion too absurd as to not deserve a friendly and respectful response.”
The Governor added that it was in the decades of the 70s and 80s when major developments were carried out in fiscal and economic policies, including major revisions to the five-year development plans, restructuring of taxation laws and introduction of the Value Added Tax, which Kinyanjui indicated was now the major source of government revenues.
“His achievements for Kenya since independence in many different roles – as President, Member of Parliament, and Leader of the Opposition – are innumerable. Many Kenyans will remember Mzee Kibaki foremost as the flag bearer, and then implementer of Kenya’s return to fully fledged multi-party democracy. For this achievement, he retains citizens’ sincerest respect and admiration,” Kinyanjui added.
By Anne Mwale