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Ruto Bans All State & Public Officers From Harambees

Ruto’s directive now sees all public officers required to adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct and to secure their strict compliance with the Directive

President William Ruto on Wednesday, July 10 banned all State Officers and Public Officers from taking part in harambees.

Per a memo dated July 9 seen by Viral Tea, Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service, Felix Koskei, while communicating the directive, recognised how harambees have provided a mechanism for the realization of the ideal of self-help by pooling resources and efforts for socio-economic development and mitigation of crises and challenges for years.

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However, as previously recognized by the 2003 Taskforce on Public Collections, Koskei noted that Harambees have once again begun to suffer disrepute and become linked to perceptions of corruption and abuse of office.

Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service Felix Koskei during a multi-agency meeting on June 20, 2024. /FELIX KOSKEI

“In that regard, and conscious of the duty to ensure that the spirit of Harambee continues to propel its noble ideals while addressing concerns on accountability and ethical conduct within the public service, it is notified that His Excellency the President has directed that no State officer and public servant shall participate in public collections (Harambees) henceforth,” the memo read in part.

Ruto’s directive now sees all public officers required to adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct and to secure their strict compliance with the Directive as well as compliance by all officers under their supervision, direction, or control.

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It stretches to all state officers including those serving in the Service Commissions such as the Public Service Commission (PSC), Parliamentary Service Commission, Judicial Service Commission (JSC), Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and National Police Service Commission (NPSC).

The commissions, in collaboration with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), will establish an institutional framework to monitor compliance with this new government policy.

“This framework is an interim administrative State Intervention until a law facilitating structured and transparent contributions for public, charitable, and philanthropic purposes is enacted,” added the statement.

The new ban comes after the government enforced another directive in line with a raft of austerity measures and other State interventions geared towards enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the Government.

As of Wednesday, July 10, all Cabinet Secretaries (CS) were directed to select at least one advisor to be retained, thus paving the way for the rest to be fired.

This is in line with Ruto’s announcement of a 50 percent reduction in the number of advisors in government.

Following the directive, the number of advisors assigned to each Cabinet Secretary has been revised from two to one. However, the number of personal staff attached to the CSs will remain as set out in the PSC guidelines being two (2) staffers.

The CSs were consequently directed to submit to the PSC the full name of the advisor to be retained, with a copy to Koskei’s office, by the close of business on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

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President William Ruto during a Cabinet meeting which was attended by his deputy, Rigathi Gachagua and cabinet secretaries at State House, Nairobi on June 11, 2024. /PCS

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