Discard ethnic lenses while on duty, Uhuru tells State officers

Friday, June 24th, 2022 06:00 | By
Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua with Public Service CS Margaret Kobia during the APSD celebration at KICC Nairobi yesterday. PD/WILLIAM OERI
Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua with Public Service CS Margaret Kobia during the APSD celebration at KICC Nairobi yesterday. PD/WILLIAM OERI

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday told public servants not to wear ethnic lenses when responding to the needs of Kenyans.

The President argued that Kenyans pay taxes and therefore have the right to demand services from public servants, urging the civil servants to be non-tribal and non-partisan in offering services to the citizens.

In a speech read on his behalf by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, Uhuru told civil servants to be loyal and of high integrity in offering their services to the citizens.

Uhuru who was to be the Chief Guest at the event delegated Kinyua to allow him to attend the flagging off of the World Rally Championships at the same venue - Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).

The three-day event saw various public service entities feted for their exemplary service delivery last year in an event dubbed ‘Africa Public Service Day National Celebration.’

President Kenyatta noted public servants must be guided by an overriding nationalism and patriotism and their loyalty must be to the nation and not their ethnic groups.

“Just like Singaporeans say they are whatever else but Singaporeans first, let’s be anything else but Kenyans first,” said the President in his speech.

While reading the speech, the Head of Public Service gave an example of a case in which an unnamed leader in the public service refused to have a borehole dug for a school because the students in the school were from different ethnic communities.

“We had a very interesting case in this country. How can students be denied water for use in school just because the person who is supposed to give the needed authorisation for the borehole comes from a different ethnic community?” he asked.

Kinyua said the President is keen to leave a disciplined public service that upholds high ethical standards and whose dedication to nationhood cannot be doubted.

Kinyua urged the current lot to bequeath the next generation such a service to the good of the nation but not on the basis of tribe or ethnic bigotry.

Yesterday, Public Service Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia who also attended the event, announced that school going children will now start getting free beefed corn from the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) as part of the initiative to improve nutrition in the school feeding programme.

The right place

Drawing from this year’s theme: “Strengthening resilience in nutrition and food security for a healthy nation: Harnessing health and social protection system for acceleration of social and economic development,” Kobia was categorical the discussion on the new policy is at an advanced stage to implement the initiative.

“A recent study found that feeding programs that had enough proteins rather than excess carbohydrates tend to make the people more healthy and agile. That is the focus of this policy initiative,” said Kobia.

She went on: “A lot of the feeding programmes available even in schools have too many carbohydrates which is not healthy. The memo for discussion on this policy is at the desk of PS Nelson Marwa for final touches.”

Kobia explained that Uhuru had issued a directive to her ministry to ensure that better nutrition policies be institutionalized in the public service and the right place to start it is at the schools. According to Kobia, President Kenyatta’s vision is informed by the fact most children get retained in school by the feeding programme.

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