All civil servants must now align to UDA manifesto

President William Ruto. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Effective from September 13th, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) manifesto became a government policy, and no longer a party campaign tool, hence public servants and leaders of the opposition have no choice but to accept and rightly adopt the blueprint.

In essence, the conversion of the campaign tool into an official government policy calls on all civil servants to change heart, attitude and perception, and accordingly appreciate the policy, and cultivate a sense of duty so as to serve the public effectively under the new dispensation.

Civil servants, if they truly care about their duties and responsibilities have zero option but to change their perception and frame of mind on some leaders some of whom were elected in the just concluded General Election.

There is a Public Service Code of Conduct and Ethics which Kenyans expect every civil servant to subscribe to - the document outlines a number of practical mechanisms for setting and institutionalising high standards of ethical conduct, integrity and good governance for elected leaders and public servants.

Public servants being the principal executors of the UDA blueprint, will have to master the nitty-gritty of the policy for easy and effective implementation.

There are high expectations from ordinary Kenyans, business leaders, civil societies, professional bodies, religious leaders and both local and foreign investors that the new government will establish and deliver higher standards of ethicality and integrity in the civil service, government agencies and in parastatals.

In summary, effective public servants must have an enduring sense of duty that compels them to go the extra mile and conduct themselves with integrity - hence, when they are faced with challenging situations, civil servants are expected to believe in a call to service and behave ethically and conscientiously.

Thus, this is the brand of staff that is expected to execute the manifesto. They are expected to be mindful of and caring for the underprivileged in the society, prioritize the growth and well-being of individuals and their communities, and more importantly display awareness, empathy and foresight.

Consequently, for the new government to execute the 2022/2027 Strategic Development Plan as envisioned in the manifesto, civil servants who will be at the core of its implementation must carry out their duties efficiently, honestly, transparently and in an accountable manner as specified in the Code.

Lacklustre and reckless performance of public servants has led to endemic corruption in government establishments resulting in poor service delivery, hence for the new government to address appropriately matters touching on strategic food reserves, education reforms, implementation of universal health coverage, infrastructural development, upgrading national security system, diversify the economy and implement government policies and decisions; civil servants will have to rebrand to carry out their duties in a manner that protects the integrity of their office, and more importantly treat members of the public with courtesy and respect.

The new look civil service is expected to ensure the efficient, effective and economic use of resources in their charge, not engage in activities that amount to abuse of office, accurately and honestly present information to the public, and most of all, not to engage in wrongful conduct in furtherance of personal benefit.

Principally, matters of major concern that public servants will be compelled to ensure are: Transparency, integrity, legitimacy, fairness, responsiveness, efficiency and effectiveness.

-Mr Sossion is an expert in education, leadership and policy