Kenyan lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi has criticized recent unannounced visits by Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) to various government departments, alleging systemic flaws within state agencies that hinder efficient service delivery to the common citizens.
Ahmednasir Abdullahi accused the CSs of conducting duties meant for junior officers such as clerks.
"When you have two senior Cabinet Secretaries storming offices and work stations of clerks in their ministries and addressing mundane issues of driver's licences, logbooks, police clearance certificates, passports etc.…issues routinely handled by entry-level clerks in the ministries…then you sadly realise that the system is broken and Kenya is not delivering for the common man/woman," he wrote in part.
Ahmednasir emphasized that there are usually multiple layers of officers between Cabinet Secretaries and the clerks they oversee.
"It is never the job of a minister (ok, I have never been one, but surely isn't it common sense!) to address these pressing but trivial issues of Wanjiku.
"There are 10 to 15 levels of officers between the ministers and the clerks they are supervising. What time will the ministers have to address important issues i.e. the bypasses that were completed without critical components and which officials and Chinese contractors "chewed" billions? (i.e. every two hundred meters in Nairobi has 2 to 3 policemen manning roadblocks in the name of traffic control but collecting taxes not authorised by Parliament in the 2023/24 budget) and insecurity in some parts of Kenya?" Ahmednassir questioned.
Furthermore, he questioned when Cabinet Secretaries will find the time to address more critical matters within their departments, such as the completion of infrastructure projects with missing components or financial improprieties involving officials and contractors.
"Ministers should ensure that the system works by ensuring that everyone in charge of the 15 levels between them and the clerks work. How can all the 15 levels fail in a ministry? disaster!" Ahmednasir concluded.
Notable CSs visit to departments
In a notable incident, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki's visit to the Department of Immigration brought to the forefront a series of issues plaguing the system.
Most notably, the production of passports had been significantly delayed, prompting the Cabinet Secretary's direct involvement to expedite the process.
Similarly, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Kipchumba Murkomen, found himself facing a similar predicament during his visit to the National Transport and Safety Authority. He was alarmed to discover that over 50,000 driving licenses were yet to be printed and issued, with some licenses dating back to September 2022.