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How about replicating ‘thriving pettiness cottage industry’ to save struggling public entities?

By Peter Kimani | June 11th 2021
President uhruu Kenyatta signs as newly appointed Judges of the Court of Appeal, and those of the Employment and Labour Relations Court, and the Environment and Land Court take their Oaths of Office at State House, Nairobi on June 04, 2021. [PSCU, Standard]

Chief Justice Emeritus Willy Mutunga packs quite a punch—way above his weight and height.

This week, he added his voice to the imbroglio surrounding Prezzo Uhuru’s decision to leave out some judges in the confirmation that had been in limbo for nearly two years, itself a source of contestation.

Mutunga’s statement, which news reporters characterised as “strongly-worded,” had unique language, warning Prezzo to “resist the temptation to be garlanded in the pettiness of performing power particularly by those who have built a thriving pettiness cottage industry…”

Let’s pause there for a moment. We know the economy is in the doldrums and the act of raising taxes to fund our Sh3.6 trillion budget, with so many minions out of work is nothing short of a miracle. But Mutunga claims there is a “thriving pettiness cottage industry” that’s domiciled in State House. At this point, we do not have the full details of those who designed and implemented the project, or even the nature of products that emanate from those efforts. But we can speculate the goods produced must be airborne—that’s the only space available for such a large-scale venture.

Further, we do not know if this sector operates under a parastatal, which would demand parliamentary oversight, or if it’s funded under a parliamentary vote or from a special kitty run by the Office of the President. Whatever the case, it’d be nice to explore if this thriving model could be replicated in failing public entities—as long as they are diversified—to produced other goods besides pettiness.


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