BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,15TH DEC 2021-President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered the cancellation of Christmas leave for all security agents and directed them to be on duty throughout the festive season.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i conveyed the directive that will mainly affect police and members of the National Government Administration Officers including county commissioners, chiefs, and their assistants.
He said the directive that takes place immediately is intended to ensure peace prevails during the festive season and was issued by the President in his capacity as the chairman of the top security decision-making organ: the National Security Council.
“For us in the security sector and especially those responsible for internal security, we are all under firm instructions given by the President yesterday that there will be no leave for Christmas holiday. We will be on duty to ensure Kenyans have a peaceful and secure Christmas,” the CS said.
Speaking in Kikurro, Kajiado County during the installation of Senior Principal Chief Roika ole Shira, the CS said there will be no exceptions to the directive.
‘I, too, will be on duty on Christmas Day and Utamaduni Day and the following days. If I’ll be working, how can chiefs or their assistants be on holiday? We will all be working to ensure our citizens are safe to enjoy themselves,” Dr. Matiang’i said.
The CS said security agents have been placed on heightened alert around the festive season in appreciation of the political upheavals afflicting neighboring countries and the wider East African region. He urged chiefs and their assistants to support presidential directives and government projects and policies and warned those not doing so to resign or risk sacking.
Said the CS: ‘A government must be run on order. As a CS, how can I have an opinion that is different from that of the President? The same applies to chiefs. Even where there are attempts to sway you, loyalty to the government of the day should never be in question. But if you find that too hard, please walk out before we eject you. Public service is not a mandatory call.’ A ‘senior principal chief’ is the highest-ranking post among chiefs and is reserved for those who demonstrate exemplary leadership. Save for exceptional cases, there is only one slot for each county.
Currently, there are only 17 holders of the position in the country. Chief Shira, 58, has been in the provincial administration for over 30 years rising from assistant chief to his latest position. The CS told off critics of the provincial administration saying chiefs and their assistants were an important and pragmatic grassroots management structure especially in explaining the government agenda to the public and in monitoring government projects.
The event was attended by the Secretary of Administration Arthur Osiya, Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya, and Kajiado Central MP Memusi Kanchorri among others.