• Five years ago, former Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua said the government had scrapped age and term limits for chief executive officers of State corporations.
• The directive meant CEOs could be re-appointed as many times as the appointing authority deemed fit and work beyond the mandatory retirement age of 60.
Head of Public Service Felix Koskei has advised CEOs in State agencies and parastatals to put their best foot forward saying they are occupants of the offices for a season.
Speaking on Thursday at the Kenya School Government during a consultative meeting with ministries, departments and agencies, Koskei said appointees to those offices will serve for no more than two terms.
"We are here for a season...in the boards, the maximum is two terms. We have also said there is no third term for CEOs, two terms if you can't do anything, just go do something else," he said.
Five years ago, the immediate former Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua announced that the government had scrapped age and term limits for chief executive officers of State corporations.
The directive meant CEOs could be re-appointed as many times as the appointing authority deemed fit and work beyond the mandatory retirement age of 60.
The removal of term limits was contained in a circular issued by Kinyua dated February 27, 2018, and titled ‘Terms of Service for State Corporation’s Chief Executive Officers’.
"The Government has noted lack of clarity on terms of service for chief executive officers of state corporations and concerns at service period, which in some instance has led to litigation,” read the circular copied to all Cabinet secretaries, the Attorney General and all principal secretaries.
Until the release of the circular, depending on the relevant Act creating the corporations, CEOs served for between three and five years and were eligible for re-appointment for a second term depending on their performance.
The circular indicated that the terms of service for CEOs are contractual and renewable based on performance and business requirements and that they are not subject to the general public service policy on mandatory retirement at 60 or 65 years or limit as to the number of terms served.
"The Circular No. OP. CAB.2/7A of March 20, 2009, on review of mandatory retirement age for public servants, is therefore, not applicable to State corporations’ chief executive officers,” Kinyua said in reference to the policy that raised the retirement age from 55 to 60 years.
Koskei who also doubles as the Chief of Staff reminded holders of the offices that things have changed.
He told them time is not on their side as the retirement age limit is now also a deterrent to how long they can be in office.
He told them to consider it a privilege to hold the offices and should not slack in their performance as they are replaceable.
"The life expectancy in Kenya has increased from 50 to 68, so we are here for a season," he said.
"If you look back and see that seat you are sitting on, go back and count, you will be surprised. You can get 20, 30, 40 25 (people previously sat there), mine is 10. I'm number 10 (Head of Public Service) since independence," Koskei said.
"So people have passed through that office, even your people have passed through it. You are not special. What you have is to thank God that you have an opportunity to contribute to making this country better."
Koskei advised the officers against carrying themselves with pride and instead purpose to mentor and advise their juniors on service delivery.
"And to contribute is to be a team player, a person who listens, a person who advises, a person who guides and a person who wants the best for everybody in the institutions that you are," he said.