Boyani: Kenya’s top performing State officials
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s first term may have been marred by corruption scandals, high inflation and an aggressive opposition that put his government on a short leash but several top State officials work was remarkably outstanding.
Sarah Serem, SRC Chairperson
Among them is the Chairperson of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) Sarah Serem whose institution managed to tame the ballooning Wage Bill through proposed pay cuts for top public officials including for President, Deputy President, Cabinet Secretaries and MPs despite strong opposition.
The new pay structure is set to save the State over Sh8 billion annually, an achievement lauded by President Kenyatta and several county bosses including Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua.
Judi Wakhungu, Environment CS
Following a decade of debate, Kenya become the second country in East Africa after Rwanda to ban plastic bags after enactment of one of the toughest environmental laws with fines of up to Sh4m or jail for offenders.
It has been an uneasy conversation that failed to fade away since 2014 when Jubilee’s Abdi Hassan Guyo moved a bill, Nairobi City County Plastic Carry Bags Control Bill, in Parliament.
However, the bill remained in the shelves until February 27 when the Environment Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu gazetted the ban on plastic bag, giving manufacturers and suppliers six months to phase out stock with the ban taking effect on August 28.
Despite strong opposition from manufacturers, the ban was met with admiration from especially the public in transitioning to bio-degradable products in spite of the added costs.
Fred Matiang’i, Education CS
The no-nonsense Education boss managed to tame the hydra-headed foe of exam cheating that had plagued the sector for decades.
For the first time in Kenyan history, renowned national schools that were used to getting not less than 100 As in the national primary and secondary examinations were left in a daze after only 141 high school candidates garnered straight As. Parents and the teachers union even threatened to sue the examination council demanding remarking of the papers.
The CS has since been lavished with praise for his thorough work, a value that may have contributed in him being chosen as the interim Interior CS.
Amina Mohammed, Foreign Affairs CS
Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Amina Mohammed was the first Kenyan to contest for the post of African Union Commission chairperson to succeed Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and in as much she did not win, she did a good job in representing Kenya in the 54-member states organisation.
However, it was not all merriment as Kenyans were more interested with the Kshs1 billion allegedly used in the bid to solicit votes from member states.
But Kenya’s international reputation has flourished under her leadership, leading to hosting several high profile meetings in Kenya in the last five years.