Consumer body’s open letter to Kenyan president on parastatal reforms

Saturday February 7 2015

Your Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta: As you work hard to realise an African Criminal Court, allow the Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) to address you on the earlier promising but now stalled parastatal reforms in the country. This is a matter of urgent justice to the people of Kenya.

The revelation that over 70 parastatals are operating without boards while more than 100 have crucial vacant positions including those of chairpersons, chief executive officers and managing directors point to severe governance and public audit loopholes which must be sealed immediately.

Accountability, austerity measures and prudent use of public resources hang in the balance when key institutions run without boards and CEOs. It is unacceptable for management to raise budgets, approve procurements and perform an oversight role on themselves. This is rogue governance. It is a contravention of both the spirit and letter of Article 232 on the values and principles of public services.

While some of your Cabinet Secretaries have blamed the delay in naming boards and CEOs on key agencies on the elusive parastatal reforms, we are surprised to learn that a team in your office that was overseeing the said reforms had long concluded its recommendations on mergers and or dissolution of some public entities.

The fact that parliament has never had a sense of urgency in passing the necessary Bills in the do-or-die manner it handled the Security Laws (Amendment) Act confirms our fears that political and other selfish shenanigans may have blocked the long-awaited parastatal reforms.

We urge you to liaise with both Speakers on recalling parliament earlier than scheduled to address the parastatal reforms. While at it, we strongly urge you to hold the appointment of the Central Bank Governor awaiting the passage of the Central Bank Bill, 2014.

Given the poor trajectory the shilling is taking against the hard currencies, a non-strategic appointment of a new governor will dim the prospects of the shilling gaining any time soon.

We are concerned that key regulatory agencies such as Kenya Bureau of Standards and National Environment Management Authority continue to make key decisions without full boards of directors. The list of such bodies is long.

As a policy, the Public Service Commission should be allowed to competitively fill the positions of directors to various boards. This responsibility should not be left to the Cabinet Secretaries only.

Finally, sir, it is regrettable that your government continues to operate in breach of Section 94 of the Consumer Protection Act 2012, which requires consumer representation on all regulatory bodies.

We look forward to your kind consideration of our request and an early response. Thank you.

Secretary General
Consumer Federation of Kenya

Fate of anti-ICC protocol at the AU

Reactions to “Kenya’s anti-ICC protocol fails to find AU backers,” (The EastAfrican, January 30-February 6)

“THANK YOU African leaders for not being used as a rubber stamp. The Kenyan leaders are trying to use the whole continent to hide their crimes against humanity. They are the same leaders who will start crying foul if anybody else takes on the leadership and he or she is not accountable to anyone.
We need a modern Africa which respects human rights and is accountable for any ills that are committed by the leaders. There is allot of corruption, nepotism and tribalism in Africa.
walitsi

“KENYAN DIPLOMATS at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa failed to persuade other countries to fast-track plans for an African court to deal with cases currently falling under the International Criminal Court.”
I may be wrong, but isn’t this conclusion premature considering that pulling out of ICC will be in the agenda of the next AU summit in June in South Africa, according the new AU chairman?
outnabout2014

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