State administrators to facilitate BBI debate – Matiang’i
National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs) have been enjoined to facilitate, but not participate in, a review of the BBI report by Kenyans and dialogue by leaders across the political divide.
While addressing Regional and County Commissioners at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) on Friday morning, Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, stated that administrators are supposed to be blind to political parties and ideologies, but to work closely with all elected leaders who wish to engage Kenyans in the ongoing debate around the report.
“We are facilitators of democratic debate and discussions such as the BBI report. In the practice of government, we always rally behind our President. And for us in the security sector, we are the ones who stand at the front of the queue. In the field, it won’t be us to lead the debate; we will only facilitate political leaders as they discuss the matter with wananchi,” he said while closing a two-day workshop for regional and county commissioners.
The Cabinet Secretary emphasized that the most important rider to the directive is that they must ensure that such events are held in strict adherence to the law.
He said, “We will work with these leaders as long as they don’t tell us to break the law. If they do, just say “no”. No one is above the law. We will continue consulting with those in command at the National Police Service to ensure that the law is observed.”
Referencing the successes recorded through the new framework announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2019 for co-ordination and implementation of development projects, Matiang’i noted that over 1,200 projects have been unlocked so far, with some of them already completed.
“For the first time since independence, we now have a record of all national government development projects. Those reports that come from the field are the ones that guide our Principal Secretaries and that’s how we make effective decisions. Move around and get those contractors who are playing with public money, and arrest them. I’d rather be right than popular,” he said.
The framework is based on a clear chain of responsibility and hierarchical accountability whereby information-sharing begins down from the 47 County Commissioners all the way up to the Cabinet Committee, which reports directly to the President.
The Cabinet Secretary also divulged that some contractors who had walked off the job even after collecting advance and down-payments had been arrested alongside several government employees with whom they acted in collusion to embezzle government money.
The CS was accompanied by the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government PS Dr. Eng. Karanja Kibicho and Chief Administrative Secretary, Hussein Dado.