The Kirinyaga county Senate hearings an eye-opener for other counties

By Daniel Juma Omondi

Thanks to the just-ended Senate Impeachment proceedings against Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, Kenyans got an opportunity to see how technical staffs who are negligent in their administrative work can lead to loss of public money and serious administrative rot in counties and other public or private institutions.

The Kirinyaga case is obvious just a tip of the iceberg. There are obviously other counties with worse administrative lapses and active corruption cases being investigated by the EACC or others already in court like Samburu, Busia, Nairobi and others.

The hearing revealed a lot of loophopes in governance on the procedural operations of the counties from hiring, procurement, financial management, transparency and adherence to public participation.

Hired staff either dont understand or have elected to ignore their roles on checks and balances especially on procurement and tenderings, which hasperennially opened doors for corruption. Further investigations will reveal a similar problem in the management of the NGCDF where procurement loopholes are exploited to benefit members of parliament who are still patrons of the NGCDF and their cronies.

Although the administrative lapses may not meet the impeachment threshold as I had predicted before, I must commend the Kirinyaga MCAS for being vigilant. It’s this vigilance which is missing from MCAS in other counties such as Siaya who think that the Governor is their employer and not the people.

However the MCAs have made a point with regards to lack of proper adherence to fiscal, tendering & procedures & the Senate and other oversight agencies such as the DCI, DPP and the EACC need to play their county oversight role more vigorously. MCAS must wake up to the reality that oversight in the counties is their primary responsibility. They must protect every single cent that belong to the people.

That said and done Governor Waiguru should hire more accountable financial and procurement professionals and ensure that her executive staff to exercise more transparency when it comes to fiscal matters.

One of the most important lessons I have learnt as a CEO of an organisation is to desist from micromananging fiscal matters and leave that to professionals. This gives you as the CEO the leeway to provide oversight and delegate culpability for any administrative lapses that may occur. CEOS of as the heads of their organisation should provide visionary leadership to steer their organisation to achieve corporate goals.

Governor Waiguru if she survives impeachment should also forge a better working professional relationship with the MCAs and support them in their representation and oversight role. However she should avoid the route taken by other Governors who bribe MCAS through expensive unnecessary benchmarking trips locally and abroad.

In the spirit of Seperation of Powers, Governors should perform their Executive functions diligently and let the MCAS perform their oversight roles without fear or favour.

Finally after this hearing the Senate should be more vigilant and exercise more oversight in how counties conduct their affairs. Lastly lawyer Ndegwa Njiru for Kirinyaga MCAS gives me hope that the quest for accountability is still alive in Kenya and that all is not lost after all.

How Moi laid the foundation for Kenya as an Education Hub in Africa.

By Daniel Juma Omondi

Just like Nelson Mandela who believed that Education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world, President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi recognized education as a great vehicle to bring equality of opportunity to Kenya. He was a teacher before venturing into politics and believed that if Kenya was to achieve its aspirations, the youth had to be educated.

Despite immense economic and political challenges, Moi used his presidency to fashion Kenya as one of Africa’s most educated country.  When Moi ascended to the presidency in 1978, the country had just one university, the University of Nairobi, despite a high number of youth that sought higher education. This forced many Kenyan parents to send their children to study abroad especially in Indian Universities. In 1983, Professor Douglass Odhiambo spearheaded a taskforce that led to the establishment of Moi University and soon after Kenyatta University was established, becoming the third university. In August 1986 Egerton was opened after being gazetted as a constituent college of the University of Nairobi the previous year. At about the same time Moi established the Commission for Higher Education to regulate university education in Kenya.

To address the bulging number of learners who had a secondary education but did not proceed for higher studies, Moi ordered universities to increase student intakes from 3,000 to more than 7,000 in 1988.  All these efforts led to Kenya being ranked 1st out of 43 African countries for education outcomes in the World Bank’s new Human Capital Index, launched in October 2018. With more than 400,000 students and some 65 registered universities and colleges, Kenya is the regional leader in higher education, followed by Uganda with more than 200,000 students enrolled in around 36 institutions, according to the Inter-University Council for East Africa.

Through various taskforces, Moi utilized the advice of technocrats to help improve the quality of education from what the British had left to a more effective system.  The taskforces led to the introduction of primary school milk scheme in 1979, the introduction of the 8-4-4 curriculum in 1983, and the decision to double university intake between 1987 t0 1990.  The milk scheme provided free milk to all primary schools, while the 8-4-4 restructured the British education system which focused on merit in examinations as the hallmark of a learner’s academic progress. The Mackay Report of 1982 chaired by Prof. C.B. Mackay from Canada extended primary education from 7and 8 years and scrapped the A level component of secondary education thereby reducing secondary education to four years. It extended university education from 3-4 years.  The Report led to the establishment of the 8.4.4 system of education and introduced a new curriculum that would give greater orientation towards vocational education while removing undue emphasis on examinations centered education.

The Kamunge Report chaired by Mr. James Kamunge reviewed the National Education Training and policy (NETP) and made proposals on cost sharing as strategy for financing public education and training and recommended expansion of existing primary schools rather opening new ones.  The increased access to education, however, led to a rise in the number of unemployed secondary school and university graduates, and by the late ’80s had become a public concern.   Moi embraced collective contributions also known as ‘Harambees’ to fund the constructions of schools, universities and colleges throughout the country.  As a result of his legacy in building schools, many schools throughout the country adopted the Moi name and even after leaving the presidency, Moi continued to spend millions of shillings annually to support the many schools which were named after him.

It was during the Moi era that patriotism and nationhood was ingrained in the memory of every school going child.  Schools taught civic education which was loaded with aspects of national values and every  school going child was expected to memorize the Loyalty Pledge, stand at attention while hoisting the flag, and bow to all national symbols. President Moi sought to develop a sense of collective responsibility towards development; students were encouraged to actively participate in national development efforts through clubs like 4K Club and Young Farmers which encouraged students to Kuungana, Kufanya, Kusaidia Kenya (Unite, Do, Help Kenya).  Moi was a staunch Christian who worked with churches who invested heavily in education to ensure that schools promoted sound and moral religious value. The free school milk programme also christened Maziwa ya Nyayo in all primary schools not only improved the diet for school going children but also increased enrollment in primary schools as it was an incentive to school going children.

In 1982 after the attempted coup, Moi also introduced a compulsory requirement that all A-Level school leavers had to go through an induction period at the National Youth Service before being enrolled in any of the national universities.  At the NYS the students were to trained to handle, manipulate, and serve in different fields before joining the colleges. They were also offered paramilitary training to inculcate a spirit of comradeship and solidarity in case of any attack from group, army or terror group.  The compulsory NYS requirement was however dropped in 1988 partly to curb increased militancy among university students especially during demonstrations.

After retiring from politics, Moi created the Moi Africa Institute headed by Lieutenant General (Rtd) Lazaro Sumbeiywo.  The Institute has been instrumental in reconciling warring communities in Southern Sudan through the South-South dialogue and strived to bring peace between the warring Maasai and Samburu communities by building a primary school at their border. Other schools founded by Moi include Sunshine Secondary School, Moi Educational Center, Moi High School Kabarak, Kabarak University and Kabarak Primary, located 20 KM from Nakuru town on his own farm.

The writer is a former aspirant for MP Ugenya Constituency, political analyst and the Executive Director of the Global Peace Foundation in Kenya. Email:

My Ugenya Election Manifesto

The following were my by-election manifesto when I ran for Member of the National Assembly of Ugenya Constituency held on 5th April 2019.

1. To ensure that every women groups in Ugenya has at least one sewing machine.

2.To support youth groups, Boda Bodas and SACCOs in Ugenya to get credit facilities that will enable them invest in sustainable small businesses.
2. To set up a revolving Ugenya Bursary Fund with half of my salary going towards this every month. To ensure that I enlist donors world wide who can boost this fund.
3.  To use my vast international networks to arrange for scholarships & *Tom Mboya* style *AIRLIFTS* that will see more youths from Ugenya study and work abroad.
4. To facilitate every family in Ugenya to have access to Universal Healthcare by instituting a campaign for every family to enroll for NHIF.
5. To table bills in parliament to transform education, motivate teachers & improve the quality of learning in our schools. Sanitation & Equipment & improve learning facilities in our primary and secondary schools will be prioritised in Ugenya.
6. To improve the road networks within Ugenya & repair foot bridges across the streams (Gaula) in Ugenya. The Ukwala – Aboke – road connecting to the Busia bound tarmac will be prioritised.
7. To set up youth empowerment, information & innovation centres fitted with free internet where Ugenya youths bcan access information.
8. To buy & install solar street lights in the villages of Ugenya that doesn’t have access to electricity. I will also ensure that electricity transformers are made available closer to the people in the villages.
9. To repair all the KEFINCO water boreholes and get investors to make boreholes where needed. I will also fix the Yenga Sam water supply and also lobby the National Government to put other dams such as Mauna Dam to good use.
10. To lobby the Kenya Airports Authority for the fencing & uplifting of the Sega Airstrip to attract direct flights into Ugenya.
11. To negotiate with banks and petrol stations to set up branches in Sega and Ukwala centres. I will also attract local and foreign investors to set up factories, hotels and other businesses in Ugenya.
12. To table a BILL in parliament to decriminalize local brews and instead set up a local factory to buy the brews from the women, purify and package the same for sale and export like they do with waragi in Uganda.
13. To table motions in parliament to compensate the families of all those who were killed in post election violence & those who were politically assasinated.
14. To table a Bill to amend the law that will allow any political party that doesn’t conduct party primaries to field more than one candidate in any elections. The law will also remove the 3 month timelines imposed on independent candidate that have been locked out unfairly from their parties.
15. To UNITE the people of Ugenya. The kind of divisive political camps we have seen in Ugenya will be history.

16. To reach out to and cooperate with my political opponents and ensure that all of them are appointed to government jobs to enable them earn a decent living. I will make the people of Ugenya proud to be Ugenyans again.