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STATEMENT BY RAILA ODINGA: Civil servants deserve respect

By Raila Odinga | Aug 3rd 2017 | 3 min read
By Raila Odinga | August 3rd 2017

We have noted with concern President Uhuru Kenyatta’s belligerent remarks in Makueni yesterday, where he threatened chiefs who he purports to be supporting NASA with dire consequences should he be re-elected. These threats are calculated to intimidate civil servants to forgo their right to vote for leaders of their choice and force them to support Uhuru.

We wish to remind the President that there is no such thing as Jubilee government money. There is only public money or taxpayers’ money.

These threats to chiefs and public servants are further evidence that the President can no longer differentiate his private and public persona. Uhuru is telling Kenyans that he is the government and the government is him.

It comes in the wake of a vicious assault on the Judiciary by the Jubilee leadership, led by the President himself. As the president was threatening the chiefs, Cabinet Secretaries and other senior public servants have been mobilized to campaign for Jubilee in a manner last seen during the KANU single party era.

President Kenyatta is on record expressing nostalgia for the old constitution.

He continues to demonstrate with every passing day, that the Kenya he wants is one where his word is law, and he is above the law. That is the Kenya we call Egypt. It is the Kenya we have put behind us and there is no turnout by back.If Uhuru wants to remain in Egypt, he must let our people go.

Jubilee has a habit of using civil servants as scapegoats. Kenyans will recall that when mega corruption began to eat into government finances, Jubilee coined a tale that the public sector wage bill was unsustainable and therefore it needed to cut salaries. It was an excuse to shield the corruption cartels but it gave way to unending strikes by university lecturers, nurses, doctors and teachers.

In the last four years, public servants have paid a heavy price as Jubilee sought to shield big time thieves in Eurobond, NYS and Ministry of Health scandals. In these scandals, it is the principal secretaries, the accountants, procurement officers and messengers who have been sacrificed while the looters got transferred to more lucrative positions.

We appeal to public servants to act in the best interest of our country and our people without fear or favour. Politicians come and go, the public and service and the country remain. We recognize that the public service has clearly spelt out performance benchmarks against which its officers are judged. Supporting Jubilee and President Uhuru is not one of those benchmarks. As NASA, we will stand with and fight for any public servant who gets victimized on the illegal grounds that they do not support Jubilee and Uhuru Kenyatta. This country is ruled by law, not by whims of autocrats living with in the past.

We particularly sympathise with chiefs. These officers have done their best to prop up Jubilee in their daily interaction with people at the grassroots. Unfortunately, it is at the grassroots where Jubilee failures are most visible and felt. Chiefs feel and see firsthand the impact of the rising cost of living, absence of basic commodities like unga, rising insecurity and the lack of jobs that people live with daily. As the face of the government, the chiefs shoulder blame for failures they are not responsible for. And now they are being accused of not doing enough for Jubilee.

We appeal to the chiefs to hold for and assure them that in a few days, things will change and they will serve under a government that will give them respect and a fairer deal.

AUGUST 3, 2017.

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