I work in the public sector, sort of. Somewhere with a finance and development corporation believing each day that my contribution helps Kenyan industries, sectors, investors and various arms of government realize a Kenya many of us dream of. On a more personal note, I believe the foundation, experience gained together with my academic credentials and passion for development and socioeconomic balance can sometime elevate me to a place where I can shape policy and see some impact, more than I do currently.
That aside. If anyone doubts just how powerful the new constitution is they should think again. I’ve watched the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) interview candidates for Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and such with lots of fascination. If there is a group of people facing immediate impact occasioned by such vetting and future possible assessment of suitability of persons holding public office it’s civil servants and officials in the public sector.
Nothing is left to chance anymore. Every possible loophole that can result to future questioning of an individual’s or corporation’s integrity and character isn’t being given chance at all. The kind of background checks being done by those appointed to vet, recommend and approve is quite impressive in my opinion. I watched briefly as the Attorney General got roasted in his defense for the nominated Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) with fascination. While at some point the panel turned from assessing Keriako Tobiko‘s suitability for the said office to exposing the rot the smiley Attorney General has overseen over decades, it still demonstrated just how a great deal our small and big actions on everyday basis can feature in future developments. Sort of what Judgment day will be perhaps? Sigh…
In the past, matters of public interest have been dealt behind closed doors with occasional press leaks letting the citizens into what transpired. I have at some point spent hours compiling reports, the annoying kind where we’ve been required to even go to Kenya National Archives to source information on what transpired with a failed project where public funds were misappropriated and such. Parliamentary committees such as the Public Accounts Committee and Public Investments Committee have always done a good job, in my opinion questioning and bringing forth rot that has characterized misappropriation of funds and such. While in the past such reports have ended up filed somewhere with politics of the day taking stage to divert attention and to protect associates and such, the current state of affairs with the media staying on the fore front in interrogating and ensuring that the general public participates in such matters is not just a breath of fresh air but the actual birth of a new nation.
There are departments in the public sector that will definitely serve Kenyans with better accountability, probably not from the revolution itself but from the fear that the revolution is instilling in unscrupulous public officials. Some impressive developments have already been realized with the laws relative to Public procurement, appointments and such. To site such example, Tendering, Evaluation and award of such can only get better. With requirements in such laws set to be done by committees, individuals will most definite be vigilant to keep their integrity in place which to a large extent will kill collusion, bribery and kickbacks as such. Appointments will feature competent and vetted professionals forming teams that will give even better opportunities to appropriate subordinates. Unlike the situations where ‘word’ has come from the top directing this and that or so and so be favored, situations will change word from the top to be ‘make sure this is appropriate and spotless’… I could be overly hopeful but I know this will happen…is happening already.
We have a general election coming up in a year. While it may still be foolhardy to say this is an opportunity to actually have the right people in parliament, public office and such, we are presented with an opportunity where parties and individuals interested alike can be vetted by citizens. Like USA does with possible senators being interviewed before cameras on their policies and backgrounds to assess and inform public of who they are and what they will be, Kenya with the 47 counties has an opportunity to set precedence such as what we have witnessed in the recent times.
This is an opportunity I suppose. I have particular interest in matters financial, political and national development. From such a background I cannot have enough words to express my jubilation at the sudden turn of events on status quo that has held our beloved country back from accountability, appropriateness and growth. If the revolution isn’t here yet, then it is approaching.