By Cyrus Ombati
Close to 100 civil servants resigned to join politics by close of business on Monday, The Standard has learnt.
This was the deadline for those seeking to plunge into politics to resign from the civil service.
Among them is the Commandant of the Administration Police Kinuthia Mbugua, four permanent secretaries including Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua and five diplomats.
Others include parastatal heads, district commissioners and other middle-level public servants.
Acting Head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia said he was compiling the list of those leaving office and would release it in due course.
“Quite a number of them have left but I do not have the real figures now. We will have experienced leaders in the future because those who have left understand management,” he said.
This follows the requirement of section 43(5) of the Election Act 2011, which was amended to reduce the period a public officer should resign from office from seven to six months before elections.
The High Court upheld that civil servants must vacate office by September 4, dismissing an application seeking to have them stay in office three months longer.
Justice Isaac Lenaola upheld a directive issued by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission that the public officers must resign six months before the General Election, dismissing a case lodged to challenge the rule by two civil society activists.
Public Service Minister Dalmas Otieno said the vacancies crated by the resignations would be filled in due course.
Mbugua left his position at the helm of the AP on Friday at a ceremony attended by President Kibaki who also wished him well as he seeks the Nakuru County governor’s seat.
He said he had left a formidable force and hopes to continue serving the public in a different way. Mbugua said he would announce his party at the right time.
Foreign Service Secretary Joseph Ndathi and Deputy Director of Supply and Procurement Joseph Mathuki tendered their resignation letters to Foreign Affairs PS Thuita Mwangi.
Ndathi, who joined the Civil Service in 1982, will be running for Kirinyaga County governor seat, while Mathuki is running for the Masinga parliamentary seat.
Ndathi, who initially worked as Director in the Ministry of Immigration, said his track record as a reformer speaks for itself.
Mathuki said he is banking on his vast international connection to assist Masinga residents.
Livestock Permanent Secretary Ken Lusaka and his Gender counterpart James Nyikal too tendered their resignations to vie for public posts.
Forestry PS Mohammed Wamwachai and his public Works counterpart John Lonyangapuo also announced their departure from office.
Lusaka wants the Bungoma governor’s seat, Wamwachai will vie in Kwale and Lunyangapuo is eyeing West Pokot senate seat.
Senior Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly Peter Omolo has taken early retirement to vie for the Kisumu County governor’s seat.
Omolo, who has served the public for 35 years, was the senior most member of staff in Parliament after the National Assembly Clerk Patrick Gichohi.
Kenya’s High Commissioner to Australia Stephen Tarus and his counterpart in Nigeria Francis Sigei have sent their quit notices to the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Kenya’s Ambassador to Belgium Kembi Gitura also resigned while the country’s envoy to China Julius Sunkuli, is expected to contest the Narok County senator’s seat.
Dr Alfred Mutua announced on Monday he had resigned to join politics. He will be seeking to be the elected governor for Machakos County on a Wiper Democratic Party ticket.
He was welcomed to the party by the Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.
“I will also be writing a book titled “Shooting the Messenger” in due course. The book will be full of truths because I have been in government for eight years and learnt a lot, including secrets that I will be buried with,” said Mutua.
Higher Education Loans Board chief executive Benjamin Cheboi, Communications Commission of Kenya chairman Philip Okundi, Kenya Airports Authority board chairman Martin Nyaga Wambora, Garissa district commissioner Elijah Taragon and Joseph Tiampati, a general manager at NSSF, have all also left.
Taragon said he is resigning to contest the governorship in Trans Nzoia County.
The Chairman of the Exports Promotion Council Njeru Ndwiga is also among the civil servants who have stepped aside from their jobs in preparation to vie for a political seat in next year’s General Election.
Prof Kivutha Kibwana also left office to concentrate on his bid for the Makueni County governorship.
On Sunday, Joash Nyamoko, a manager at Athi River based Technology Development Centre, said he had resigned.
Nyamoko intends to vie for the newly created North Mugirango parliamentary seat.