Parents, a civil society organisation and some senators have defended Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi who is facing censure.
Senate Majority leader Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nithi) blamed Prof Kaimenyi’s woes on a constitutional disconnect and termed the grounds for his censure as general, unfounded, discriminative and shallow.
“The problem here is about relationship. The law completely separates the Legislature from the Executive, whereas in the previous Parliaments, ministers were elected leaders, the present Cabinet Secretaries are technocrats,” said Prof Kindiki.
He continued: “The motion against the CS does not disclose any wrong doing. What is happening is that Kaimenyi is being punished for anomalies in law. These technocrats cannot relate the same way as elected leaders.”
Kindiki recommended that in future, leaders should consider reviewing the law to address the grey areas.
“We need to have a rethink. The issues raised against Kaimenyi are not different from those raised against his colleague Anne Waiguru (Devolution). This is unfair. Relationship issues should be bench-marked to discipline an individual,” he said.
He continued: “We back Kaimenyi on this one. If there are some disagreements between Kaimenyi and the National Assembly, impeachment is not the solution but dialogue.”
The vice chairman of County Education Boards caucus James Kanya said all the education stakeholders are behind Kaimenyi and said the matter must not be politicised.
“In all fairness no one has come up with a valid reason why Kaimenyi must be relieved of duty. So far what we have witnessed are sensational remarks,” said Dr Kanya.
Embu Senator Lenny Kivuti Sunday criticised those plotting Kaimenyi’s down fall, saying efforts to sack him will not succeed. He accused some Jubilee MPs of being anti-progress and targeting individuals perceived not loyal to them.
“What is happening in Kenya now is worrying. Enemies of development in Jubilee and the Opposition are busy fighting leaders that are not ‘friendly’ to them. How do you censure somebody merely because he is arrogant?” Kivuti wondered. He termed this as “unfair and unfortunate”.
“Kaimenyi is being targeted just because he is not talking to some people and therefore he must be sacked,” said Kivuti.
Geffrey Odanga (Matayos) wants Kaimenyi sent home, citing incompetence.
Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary General Wilson Sossion has been on record saying the union will never work with Kaimenyi again and called for his sacking.
Kenya National Parents Association and the Elimu Yetu coalition (EYC) also defended Kaimenyi saying he has performed well.
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“The whole problem has been caused by Knut because they have failed to get their way as they have always done,” said EYC Co-ordinator Janet Muthoni of EYC.
She said Kaimenyi gazzetted the school fees regulations and also the basic 4education regulations that Knut thought were not progressive.
“Kaimenyi has been the single most bold and straightforward cabinet secretary that Knut is for the first time scared of. That is why they would do all else to tarnish his name,” National Parents Association boss Musau Ndunda said.
Mr Ndunda said under Kaimenyi a lot of progressive development has taken place.
“He has proven to be pro-poor people and MPs and teachers unions must stop harassing him. The allegations levelled against him are vexatious and aimed at painting him in bad picture,” said Ndunda.
Speaking to The Standard on phone, Kivuti challenged Kaimenyi’s critics to point out the mistakes he has done, or demonstrate his incompetence.