President Moi’s death chance for reflection by officials

Monday, February 10th, 2020 00:00 |
Former President Moi. Photo/Courtesy

Kenyans have been glued to TV screens watching as the country mourns former President Daniel arap Moi. 

Having dedicated 42 years of his life to public service, mostly at the highest levels of State power, Moi means a lot of things to Kenyans he worked with in his long political journey.

Many of the politicians who held leadership positions during his reign have described him as a mentor, father, teacher, disciplinarian, staunch Christian, humble and generous.

However, there are those who have painted him a strongman who ruined the political careers of his critics, abused human rights to sustain his hold on power and presided over the plunder of the country’s resources through corruption. 

Opinion will always be divided about Moi’s legacy, but there is almost consensus that his contribution on the expansion of education sector is one of the hallmarks of his legacy.

Notably, Moi’s death should be a reason to Kenyans entrusted with public responsibilities to have a reflection. Public servants should be mindful of their legacies, especially in exercise of powers assigned to them.

According to the Constitution, all powers belong to the people and is delegated to various institutions and individuals. According to the Building Bridges Initiative taskforce report released last year, Kenyans complained that public servants in all spheres of government continued to treat them arrogantly and people often must plead or bribe for services.

It was reported that public officers were yet to internalise the fact that the authority assigned to them is a public trust that they are meant to use for the benefit of the people, not for personal gain. Inquiries made by the Yusuf Haji taskforce revealed a deep-rooted problem in the attitude of public officers.

There was a proposal to conduct an independent performance audit and overhaul the public service to uproot deeply entrenched interests within the system that are resistant to change.

As the country mourns the former President, it should a point of reflection for public servants on their contribution to the national good using the roles assigned to them by the people. 

Moreover, Moi’s death should also re-ignite a national conversation on what we can do for the country rather than the converse.

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