Friday, June 23, 2017

The steamroller

Is it that the civil service -- public service, according to the new constitutional patois -- is now staffed by the intellectually lazy? The glory days of the Kenyan administrative state -- where the civil servant enjoyed power and legitimacy -- are well an truly behind us and we are now fully entrenched in the political state in which the political classes, of which the Cabinet is prominently represented, make administrative decisions for political reasons.

Uhuru Kenyatta is seeking re-election and his Cabinet Secretaries are doing everything in their power to ensure that, indeed, he is re-elected. It is why Fred Matiang'i, the hard-charging Cabinet Secretary for Education, is seeking to implement a policy of embedding "spiritual leaders" in schools to curb "student unrest" by "checking the moral decadence that has hit schools leading to destruction of property" and to "to contain school unrest".

Like the new school curriculum that is being piloted in all forty-seven counties, the policy behind this new initiative remains shrouded in mystery; Mr Matiang'i, after all, knows best. And Uhuru Kenyatta can claim that his government has done its best to ensure that students don't burn down dormitories or take to homosexuality, like the Ministry of Education claims they do. Mr Matiang'i is the steamroller of the Jubilee government just like the late John Michuki was for the NARC government and sooner or later, either Mr Matiang'i will build a team that will see his policies through to their logical conclusion or he will move on and the education sector will go back to its middling ways.

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