The launch of "Huduma Centre" by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday is a move in the right direction. When he went around the country soliciting for votes, prior to the March 4 general election, President Kenyatta and his team promised to improve service delivery to Kenyans in the event of being elected to office.
Dubbed the 'one-stop shop', the centre will, in all likelihood, play a significant role in serving Kenyans. It bears noting that Kenyans seeking services in government offices have, for far too long, had to contend with a litany of challenges. To get documents such as identity cards, passports, birth certificates, driving licences among others, Kenyans had to move from one office to another occasioning them unnecessary time wastage.
It has also been the norm to wait for months on end before acquiring some of these basic documents. Wily and arrogant public officers have also been reportedly charging Kenyans for services that should be rendered free of charge. During the launch of the centre, President Kenyatta alluded to this snobbish attitude of some public officers.
It is, however, imperative to note that the launch of the centre is not an end in itself but a means to an end. Both the government and Kenyans have a role to play is ensuring that the centre works successfully.
The government should put in place measures to inculcate professional ethics in public servants manning the centre. Serious disciplinary action should be taken against civil servants found mistreating Kenyans seeking services from the centre. It is also incumbent upon the government to adequately fund the centre. This will ensure smooth and quick provision of services.
Kenyans, on the other hand, should realise that public services are their right and not a favour. Apart from paying the legally prescribed charges, they should be on the lookout for public servants soliciting for bribes before serving them.
Cooperating with such officials by paying bribes will not only serve to undermine the government's efforts to improve service delivery. Kenyans should readily report such officials to the relevant authorities.
Quote of the day : “Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” Guillaume Apollinaire, a French writer, was born on August 26 1880 and died on November 9, 1918.