President Uhuru Kenyatta says Parliament should stop constantly summoning Cabinet Secretaries to appear before various committees, and instead give them time to perform their duties.
Speaking while launching the one-stop-shop Huduma Kenya service programme on Thursday at Teleposta Towers, President Kenyatta said he was getting concerned with the number of times that his ministers are being summoned by committees of the Senate and the National Assembly.
He urged the Parliament to continue undertaking its oversight role but in a manner that will allow the Executive also execute its duties to the country.
“We have to also recognise that we have a new system of government and I say this with all due respect… and I want to appeal to the Members of Parliament to recognise this. Am also a former legislator,” he appealed.
He added; “I fully appreciate the work that you do as a former legislator. We must work in a manner that is consistent under this system we choose to follow when we adopted the new constitution.”
“I have only 18 Cabinet Secretaries, the constitution does not give room for deputies; surely my colleagues in Parliament and in Senate, if what you are going to do is to keep these people in one committee after another, who will do the work and when?” he asked.
He noted that some Cabinet Secretaries have even been summoned by two committees simultaneously, noting that under these circumstances, it will be hard for them to perform.
“Let us be reasonable… if it is the issue of policies call them and get them addressed, but we cannot have Cabinet Secretaries living in Parliament to the point whenever am even looking for them for issues required to be done, am told they are in Parliament. Let us not frustrate each other, give us room within which to work,” he affirmed.
The pilot Huduma Centre launched on Thursday will be a ‘one-stop-shop’ where several services from different public agencies will be provided.
Initially, this centre will provide 18 services from 10 Government agencies.
Kenyatta also warned civil servants who not performing insisting that the entire public service must be transformed.
He said the Public Service plays an integral role in economic growth and must reform in order to accelerate and consolidate national transformation.
The Head of State said all civil servants must place the citizens at the centre of service delivery and always be responsive to their needs.
Kenyatta said this was in effort to have a public service that will facilitate economic transformation and improve the country regional and global competitiveness.
“I also remind all public servants that rude, reluctant, slow, or negligent service is illegal,” he said.
He observed that, “The Constitution demands that you discharge your public trust in a manner that demonstrates respect for the people, brings honour to the nation and dignity to your office. You are also expected to be objective and impartial, selfless, accountable disciplined and committed. My Government fully intends to hold all public servants to that standard.”