Saturday, April 5, 2008



By Jerry Okungu

After carefully considering what is available for Kenya to move forward at this point in our history, Osano Kute, Africa’s leading management advisor based in Nairobi, is of the opinion that the agenda for running the future government should be centred on the principles of empowerment, good governance, inclusivity, innovation, integrity, teamwork and visionary leadership.

He says that whereas the spirit of the accord signed between Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki allows for a 50% share of government portfolios between the Orange Democratic Movement and the Party of National Unity, the future government’s operations and service delivery must not allow this partisanship to show at all government departments because they will be required to serve all Kenyans from all parts of the country irrespective of their political party affiliations. Appointees from both sides must work as a team with a common purpose if they are to make the coalition succeed.

Government appointments must deliberately be inclusive to reflect fair regional and ethnic representation in the cabinet, civil service, public corporations, armed forces, police, judiciary and the provincial administration. In this regard, there is need to pair strategic ministries, parastatals, foreign missions and directorates as much as possible so that no particular partner or followers feel short-changed on power sharing arrangement.

Osano Kute feels that Kenya has a chance to select competent and innovative youthful leaders in the new administration; those who still have the drive to bring about meaningful change in the lives of many hopeful Kenyans.

He suggests that one way of infusing a common purpose in the coalition government is to make the appointments in such a way that each ministry, government department or parastatal is managed by both parties as follows: If a ministry has a minister from PNU, then the permanent secretary has to come from ODM. If a government corporation has a CEO from ODM, then the PNU will take the board chairmanship. Likewise if the Governor of the Central Bank is appointed by the PNU then the Treasury Permanent Secretary must come from ODM.

On foreign missions, Kute has a list of what he considers strategic and influential foreign missions. He lists them in terms of their political and economic clout in regional and world forums. They are London, Washington, New York, Brussels, Tokyo, Paris, Beijing, Berlin, Stockholm, Oslo, Delhi, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. In Africa, he has Kampala, Dar es Salaam, Cairo, Abuja, Pretoria, Maputo, Addis Ababa, Accra, Libya and Tunisia. These are the strategic missions ODM and PNU should share out in equal measure such that if PNU takes London, ODM should take Washington. If ODM takes Brussels that houses the European Union, PNU should take New York that houses the United Nations.

He says that for the government to be effective and efficient, every minister and his PS must have defined roles and sufficiently empowered to be able to carry out their duties and responsibilities. Both the minister and the permanent secretary must be appointed for a fixed period of time and be made secure in their positions. However, this should not mean that they can remain in office if they fail to pass integrity tests in the cause of their duties.

For purposes of clarity, Kute is of the opinion that the Prime Minister, as the supervisor and coordinator of government ministries and departments, should assume the full responsibility of making the coalition work while allowing the Head of State to focus on leadership and oversight role in the country. The Head of State in his capacity as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces should concentrate on the protection of the sovereignty of Kenya and defend Kenya from external aggression. He should equally concentrate on marketing Kenya abroad among world leaders with a view to building Kenya’s image and luring foreign investors into the country. For this reason, foreign missions should be part of his docket.

Kute says that the only reason why Kenyans are hopeful of the Raila- Kibaki administration is because they expect it to be different from all administrations since independence. They expect a government that will respect the principles of good governance. For him good governance refers to a good government that is small, efficient, effective and delivers on its promises. He expects the Raila- Kibaki administration to be corruption-free, transparent, fair and accountable to the people of Kenya. He expects the Raila- Kibaki administration to be able to measure its achievements regularly, refrain from burdening itself with tasks the private sector can perform better and focus on developing the most marginalized communities and regions.

If Kute’s dreams can be realized in the coming administration, then Kenyans have something to smile about.