•Mueke took over the reins at the State Department for Sports from Joe Okudo who has served in the capacity since 2019 under former CS Amina Mohamed.
•the CS encouraged staff to raise the Ministry's profile by going the extra mile in their assignments, adding he was afraid of being labeled a failure.
Ababu wants PS Mueke to hit ground running at sports docket
Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba has urged the newly appointed Principal Secretary Jonathan Mueke to swing into action at once because they are already behind schedule.
A handover ceremony for the accounting officer was held at the Kenya National Library Service on Monday, during which Namwamba made the remarks.
Mueke took over the reins at the State Department for Sports from Joe Okudo who has served in the capacity since 2019 under former CS Amina Mohamed.
Namwamba noted that his pressure would be alleviated with the arrival of the new principal secretary.
“It has been quite a challenge to jump into this sea on my own, knowing that the outgoing principal secretary was preparing to hand over, as well as the monumental challenges on the table," Namwamba said.
“I'm looking forward to seeing you hit the ground running literally from today because you barely have any time for honeymooning."
In his speech, the CS encouraged staff to raise the Ministry's profile by going the extra mile in their assignments, adding he was afraid of being labeled a failure.
“I don't want my photo image on the front pages of the newspapers as the worst performing Cabinet Secretary," Namwamba said.
“I don't think the PS wants to be associated with that either and I believe none of you want to be associated with that. Let us raise our level of performance.”
According to Namwamba, the ministry faces numerous challenges that can only be resolved through teamwork.
“There has been a lot of crisis across the ministry. In the last 30 days that I've been here, we have had to deal with Fifa's ban on football, doping issues with World Athletics, resolved rugby crisis and we are grappling with other challenges in swimming and badminton," Namwamba said.
In light of the limited financial resources available to the ministry, he asked staff to tighten their belts.
“You are aware that this is a ministry that has not been resourced very well in terms of budgetary allocation from the Treasury and so we are going to be very frugal, very prudent on how we utilise the limited resources that are available to us," he said.
He asked them to suspend certain programs that are not critical and prioritize the ones that are urgent and immediate.
“I've been rather stringent with things like retreats. There are several retreats that some of you have requested which I have declined. I have done so in the spirit of being prudent and frugal in the way we use our resources.”
“You realise that the budget has been revised and in the process, all our programs were affected. That then means that it can't be business as usual. The way we affect our austerity measures will cascade to the federations and the partners we work with.
Mueke said they will work with stakeholders to achieve their specific targets.
“We are here to do one job which is to ensure that we build this country together. We'll be partnering a lot with several organizations and institutions. We have many stakeholders so we will have to do stakeholder management," Mueke said.
“There are some bills that we want to get reviewed, and some that we need to introduce in parliament. We will work on a policy and then equip the CS to take that policy to the cabinet just to move the ministry forward," he added.