• Outgoing Auditor General Edwarduko and CoB Agnes Odhiambo did stellar work and did not yield to pressure.
• The Public Service Commission must recruit successors who are men and women of exceptional integrity and toughness who to resist pressure and insist on independence.
Kenyans disagree on many things. However, many would concur that outgoing Auditor General Edward Ouko and the Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo did stellar work. They have true meaning to Chapter 15 of the Constitution that gives their offices independence.
Despite strong-arm tactics by the Executive and Parliament, they never flinched in their roles and brought accountability to the heart of governance.
Over her eight-year tenure, Odhiambo produced quarterly reports on budget execution and highlighted key problems in public finance. She was vocal on expenditure on non-core activities, particularly conferences and foreign travel.
Ouko’s audit reports gave governors and accounting officers across government sleepless nights. Despite the rampant culture of sleaze, Kenyans had a dependable watchman.
Unfortunately, the two have completed their constitutional terms and replacements must now be sought.
The best gift the Public Service Commission can give to Kenyans is to ensure that the next holders of the two offices are not only exceptionally competent but also men and women of unshakeable integrity. And toughness to resist pressure from those who fear their message.
The PSC must not give Kenyans apologists who recoil when the kitchen gets too hot. The qualifications for this job must go beyond 10 years’ experience.