As President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Cabinet gradually begins to take shape, there are plans to centralise operations in all ministries.
Dubbed the “One-Government Approach,” the plan includes linking various ministries to the counties, regional commissioners, chiefs and sub-chiefs to improve accountability at the grassroots.
The Ministry of Interior has been identified to serve as the nerve centre from where all operations will be controlled.
That will make Fred Matiang’i become the most powerful Cabinet Secretary. National government administrative officers will be held responsible for poor service delivery.
Already, three ministries - Energy, Education and Transport and Infrastructure - have laid down their strategy for the expected synergy.
In the arrangement, the Interior CS will be getting reports from the county commissioners, who are expected to get daily briefs from their juniors.The deputy county commissioners will get their briefs from chiefs and sub-chiefs.
Speaking at the Kenya School of Government in Nairobi on Friday, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i said the government’s development agenda is intended to improve service delivery through coordination of services from various ministries.
“As time goes by, we will continue making arrangements with the other ministries because it is the hope of the President that the government will work as one unit. This will be done to the grassroots level through national government representatives,” Matiang’i said.
County commissioners have already been instructed to countersign all contract certificates for government projects before contractors are paid.
Transport and Infrastructure CS James Macharia said the move will promote accountability.
“The county commissioners were retained to link the government to the grassroots, We want to use the one-government approach to ensure it works. The commissioners are essential to ensure good work is done,” Macharia said.
He said the development framework for roads will be broken down and given to the relevant counties.
The Energy ministry has also ordered officials of various parastatals under it to report through the county commissioners.
“KPLC officials in the counties will now be directly under the county commissioners,” Energy CS Charles Keter said.
Keter also said the commissioners will countersign contracts before payments are made.
The county commissioners will also chair the county education boards for transparency in the management of national examinations.
The Education ministry has drafted an amendment of the Education Act to allow the county commissioners to chair the boards.
“We want a scenario where the county commissioners will know what happens in schools and give genuine recommendations on how to make education in those regions better,” Matiang’i said.
Speaking to the Star, political analyst Wesley Simba said the new arrangement will make Matiang’i a “super minister.”
Simba said the arrangement will be a game changer that redefines the role of government officials.
The Constitution, upon its promulgation in 2010, directed the restructuring of government within five years to fit into the devolved system of governance.