Civil servants struggle to justify wealth in lifestyle audit

Civil servants are struggling to justify how they accumulated their current wealth in the ongoing lifestyle audit, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua has said.

Kinyua said that though a majority of those vetted can account for their wealth, there is about 30 per cent of civil servants who are can't.

The head of public service also noted that the government was ambitious in the amount of time needed for the vetting saying it will take another four weeks or so.

The vetting follows a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta that saw procurement and accounting officers step aside for a lifestyle audit.

Kinyua was speaking during the swearing in of the new Public Service Commission chairperson Stephen Kirogo at the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Kinyua challenged Kirogo to harness vast skills public servants in the country have to boost economic growth now and for the future.

“Public resources should be utilized prudently. We are not in these positions to enrich ourselves but to serve citizens. We should serve with integrity at all time just like the President says,” Kinyua said.

Kirogo has vowed to tackle problems of ageing civil servants and massive wastage of public resources.

Kirigo said resolving the problem of aging public servants will ensure continuity in the public service while reducing wastage will enable Kenyans get value for their taxes.

“I will ensure that every shilling counts and if we can minimize wastage, services will be better and Kenyans will be happier. It is better we minimize wastage if we cannot eliminate it,” Kirigo said after taking oath of office.

Present during the swearing-in at Supreme Court were Chief Justice David Maraga, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and his deputy Wanyama Musiambo.

The Government spokesman Eric Kiraithe, the PSC chief executive officer Alice Otwala and Judiciary’s Chief Registrar Anne Amadi were also present.

Kirogo pledged to enhance the dignity and the culture of honesty in the public service by recognizing and rewarding hardworking civil servants to increase productivity.

“The public service entails the greatest call to serve not for those who want to get rich or wealthy. The success or failure of the ambitious Big Four agenda depends on the public service. What we do will or not do will enable its success or failure,” he said.

Kirogo replaces the former chairperson Marget Kobia who was appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta as the Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs cabinet secretary.

Chief Justice challenged Kirogo to deal with unscrupulous public officers in the Lands ministry who issue different land buyers with more than two title deeds for the same piece of land leading to court cases.

“There is a huge problem in the Lands office. Judiciary is getting cases over land with two or three title deeds and many cases of various land allotments. We find it difficult to know who the real landowner is,” Maraga said.

He pointed out that Kenyans living in the diaspora have been victims of buying land that has more than two people with title deeds and that they only discover about it when they come home to start building.

“You should reign in public officers behind these schemes to help our people,” Maraga said.

He also challenged Kirogo to address numerous complaints public servants continue to take to Judiciary especially their breached terms of employment.

“Fair administrative action for public servants should be looked into. If we minimize this, then public servants will work well,” Maraga said.

Kirogo termed the task awaiting him at the Commission as “enormous” and that he requires much support from his commissioners, Kinyua and Maraga, among other stakeholders.

He said digitizing services offered by the Commission to Kenyans will be his priority for every citizen to across the country to access them “cheaply, faster and easily.”

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