Thursday, May 23, 2024


PRINCIPAL secretaries have spoken of how some of Cabinet secretaries are shamelessly and unlawfully demanding bribe cash.

Eight Principal secretaries have told the Star, on condition of anonymity, that they are under extreme pressure to circumvent processes and procedures to raise cash for Cabinet secretaries and when they decline they are branded traitors and anti-Jubilee.

Most Cabinet secretaries are said to be pushing for companies associated with their relatives and friends to be given government business.

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Some of the CSs have told the PSs that they are raising cash for Jubilee’s 2017 campaigns. Others are boasting of how close they are to the President and his Deputy and that if the PSs raise questions about their demands, they could well face the sack.

Principal secretaries are the ministry accounting officers.

“If I sign away millions of shillings they will take me to court. I do not want to be jailed,” said a lady PS.

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Another PS said he had asked for a transfer to another department because he could no longer get along with his minister.

“The CS has made it clear that he is raising money for the 2017 elections. I have told him many times that I do not know how to cut corners and get him cash. The many times he has asked that I approve things that are clearly not procedural and I have refused, the minister has gone ahead and called me names.

“The minister has also decided to work with my juniors to undermine me when I have refused to sign his things which are unlawful,” said one PS in a key ministry.

While some PSs have nursed their frustrations quietly, others have mentioned their troubles to Head of the Public Service Joseph Kinyua.

“In cases where the SC brings his friends and relatives to be given business, we demand that they follow the law, a fact that annoys some CSs,” said a PS in a high-profile ministry.

So bad is the situation in some ministries that the CSs have demanded the transfer of PSs, “because they are not serving the Jubilee agenda”.

“The CS has been telling some of my bosses that I’m difficult to work with, so I should be transferred or removed since Jubilee wants quick achievements,” said a PS in a Ministry that controls some of the biggest budgets.

The PSs have also complained of overlapping functions, with SCs wanting to do their work.

Said one PS: “We have raised this matter with the President and his Deputy and while it was initially resolved in some departments, the ministers are back at it. They want to micromanage departments, including hiring and firing of staff, yet, by law and according to Public Service regulations, that responsibility is vested in the Principal Secretary.

“Some ministers have also tried to create new departments and hire people to manage them, but in some cases the Public Service Commission has rejected them because they are unqualified”.

“Some have even brought in teams of consultants whose roles sometimes conflict with those of civil servants and when we raise questions the minister accuses us of sabotage,” said a PS.

In some ministries confusion persists as both CSs and PSs demand the same reports and briefings from civil servants.


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