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Sunday 22nd July, 2012

The Acting Permanent Secretary in charge of Public Service and Secretary to Cabinet Francis Kimemia lacks professional and political neutrality. The principle of political neutrality is key to any person appointed to hold public office in trust of the people and the country.

All persons appointed to public service are constitutionally obliged and take oath of allegiance to the people of Kenya and the Constitution.

Mr. Kimemia’s consistent positions on crucial public matters project a person without political neutrality. His support for unconstitutional appointments is biased casting him as a political administrator unwilling to foster rule of law.

Civil service is expected to be politically disinterested. It has to defend and uphold core values of integrity, propriety, objectivity and be able to transfer its loyalty and expertise from one elected government to the next.

According to the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the civil service is the administrative arm of government fully insulated by the Constitution and expected to provide high quality advice and provide support for both the government of the day and the Parliament and play a major role in the legislative process.

The civil service is supposed to faithfully carry out the policies of the Government of the day irrespective of that Government's political complexion. At the same time, it is expected to maintain its independence.

In this respect, the advice given by civil servants is supposed to be given fearlessly and impartially. Political neutrality is therefore the bedrock of most civil services.

Assessed from his public statements and positions, Mr. Kimemia does not meet or exhibit the thresholds.

The Constitution clearly stipulates that public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency, and act with patriotism and justice.

However, this fact appears to Kimemia and other top civil servants to be something alien, irrelevant or unknown to them. This is offensive and insulting to the people of Kenya and the Constitution.

Kenyans, armed with increasing and better information, are demanding higher standards of ethics, integrity, transparency and accountability from holders of public office. In this regard, Mr. Kimemia’s conduct is inconsistent with the Constitution and the code of conduct governing public service.

Effectively implementing the provisions of the Constitution would greatly contribute to the building of trust in a government that has been eroded by unseemly conduct on the part of public officials. He should resign from civil service.

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