Seven public officers who have demonstrated a commitment to service delivery and fidelity to the rule of law have been recognised and awarded as a way of motivating them.
The awards were unveiled during the third edition of the Huduma Ombudsman Awards held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre on March 9, 2017.
Of those awarded, Mr David Chumo, a traffic police corporal based at the Bomet Police Station, emerged the best in the individual category; whereas the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) was the best in the institution category. IPOA was the only institution awarded.
Ms. Olivia Obell, the officer-in-charge at the Langata Women’s Maximum Security Prison, took the first runner-up position and Ms. Jennifer Wangari, a senior children’s officer at the Ministry of East African Affairs, Labour and Social Protection.
Four other officers were issued with letters of commendation for demonstrating a commitment to service delivery and going beyond the call of duty in their various work stations. The four are: Mr Eric Ngondi (Environment Officer at the National Environment Management Authority) Mr George Natembeya (Isiolo County Commissioner), Mr Joseph Ngondu (Ngenda Location chief in Gatundu South Sub-County), and Mr Wilson Lanoki (Headteacher, Sarmach Primary School, West Pokot County).
The Huduma Ombudsman Awards—an intiative of the Commission–seeks to enhance respect for the rule of law and excellence in service delivery.
To this end, the Commission ensured broad participation in the exercise by inviting nominations from the public countrywide through the media, county governments, Huduma Centres, postal offices, independent oversight institutions and the national government offices. In addition, the Commission constituted an Awards Advisory Panel comprising six collaborating institutions to analyse, verify and recommend the deserving awardees. Through this exercise, the Commission received 801 nominations for the individual and institutional entries which were reviewed, shortlisted and the final nominees ranked after thorough verification by the Panel.
Speaking during the ceremony, Attorney General, Prof. Githu Muigai, noted that most of the people are quick to point out the ills and malaise in government and fail to recognise that although there are some challenges, there are outstanding Public Officers who deserve recognition.
Prof. Muigai, who was the chief guest, said efficient service delivery is at the heart of the country’s aspirations as espoused in the Vision 2030.
“Our economic political and social goals can only be realized if we as public servant are exemplary in our work,” he said.
While congratulating the awardees, the AG made a case for the rooting out of ineptitude, incompetence, inefficiency and generally maladministration in the conduct of public affairs.
On her part, CAJ acting Chairperson, Dr. Regina Mwatha, pointed that the officers feted had demonstrated an exceptional character of servant-hood and selflessness and encouraged them to be steadfast to the very values and principles that made them stand out from the rest.
Dr. Mwatha observed that for the country to realise the transformative purpose of the Constitution and the goal of Vision 2030 as well as the commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, it was imperative that a change of attitude; from a mindset of master to that of a servant, a mindset of considering public resources entrusted to us as our own instead of the cliché ‘mali ya umma’, was necessary.
The awards ceremony was graced by Mr Macharia Njeru (IPOA chairperson), Amb. Peter Ole Nkuraiyia (Vice Chairperson of the Public Service Commission) and Ms. Grace Otieno who represented Principal Secretary, Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, among many other guests from the public service.