Mudavadi puts civil servants on notice over wastage of resources

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi speaking during a meeting with National Government Coordination Secretariat (NGCS), Interior Ministry and regional commissioners in Nairobi on March 7, 2024. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has decried failure by government employees to safeguard public resources, resulting in wastage in the public sector.

Speaking during the second meeting of the National Development  Implementation Committee (NDIC) that brings together all the Principal Secretaries, Mudavadi said duplications and overlaps in some Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), and State Corporations are shocking.

He said the government is incurring substantial expenses in repaying commitment fees for loans that have not been effectively utilised and wants state officials held responsible to curb the wastage of public resources.

“Where we have signed agreements with Development Partners, there are many cases where loans remain undisbursed due to nonfulfilment of conditions precedent to their effectiveness. Consequently, we continue to repay large amounts of commitment fees even though the loans are not effective,” stated Mudavadi

He underscored the weight of responsibility borne by government leaders in ensuring efficient service delivery.

Mudavadi also echoed President William Ruto’s remarks that government officials must stop corruption and the wastage of public resources to build a prosperous nation and better lives.

His remarks come amidst increasing concerns over Kenya’s surging public debt. In the fiscal year ending December 2023, the country witnessed a significant escalation in public debt, soaring by Sh1.93 trillion to a record high of Sh11.14 trillion.  Treasury has attributed this to external loan disbursements, exchange rate fluctuations, and uptake of domestic debt.

He requested National Treasury Principal Secretary Dr Chris Kiptoo to take stock of these loans and provide him with a report detailing the status of each.

 Mudavadi noted that President Ruto had several times reminded public servants to protect public resources with zeal to be able to actualise the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).

“As a result, President Ruto has directed the consolidation process of State Agencies to commence as a way of ending duplicity of functions that is indeed wastage,” said Mudavadi.

He noted that the government had legally created State Agencies that are similar in mandate and all depend on the Exchequer for resources and as a result, the Exchequer has to resort to taxing citizens to raise these resources.

 Mudavadi pointed out that government departments and state corporations had also signed many MOUs but implementation is very weak and in some cases, they just remain that, without any follow-up.

The CS said that in their first NDIC meeting on March 22, 2023, they agreed there would be a paradigm shift in the management of public affairs to a trajectory driven by the government approach characterised by customer-oriented high-performing teams focused on set targets, excellence, and professionalism.

“One year down the line, silo-mentality, self-turfs, lethargy, and inefficiency are still evident in the management of public affairs. This has slowed down service delivery. We should never allow these issues to define us and become our bane. We must end them now,” said Mudavadi.

He said that President Ruto pronounced himself on November 1, 2023 on the importance of the Whole of Government Approach through Executive Order No. 2, by spelling out the role of the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary as the focal point for the Coordination of National Government Operations, with the National Government Coordination Secretariat (NGCS) having the overarching mandate of Coordination and Oversight.