Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha on Saturday came out guns blazing as he defended his track record and his style of leadership at the helm of education sector. Amidst heavy criticism and growing dissent on the manner in which he handles his juniors, Magoha issued a statement saying were it not for his brutal approach; the ministry would not have achieved certain milestones during his stint in the office.
“While I do concede that I am not perfect, in the process of reforms of the magnitude required to improve service in the education sector, I recognise this process is bound to generate resistance,” he noted in a statement, as he referred to a step by the Public Service Commission (PSC) to strip him of human resource functions for insulting his juniors.
Unapologetic but acknowledging to his frailties; Magoha said that “for any meaningful, positive and measurable change to happen, things must be done differently”.
On Friday, the PSC announced changes at the ministry, delegating human resource powers to the Principal Secretary Dr Belio Kipsang. The move was seen as a move to clip the powers of the CS after deafening criticism on how he insulted Uasin Gishu County Education Director Gitonga Mbaka recently.
“The commission has withdrawn its powers and functions from Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha and delegated the said powers to PS Belio Kipsang with immediate effect,” PSC stated on a circular by Chairman Stephen Kirogo.
But despite this directive, the CS said in his statement that he would continue to discharge his duties normally until such a time that he would be relieved of them by the appointing authority-President Uhuru Kenyatta.
In a video circulating on social media, the CS can be seen calling Mr Mbaka a fool before ejecting him from the meeting in the full glare of teachers, learners other stakeholders. Prof Magoha wanted an explanation on why Langas Primary School was in a filthy state.
Calls to have Magoha apologise hit a brick wall before the PSC struck with the action.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) national chair and Emuhaya MP Omboko Milemba led the group that represented the stakeholders in calling for the CS to reach out to the old man and offer an apology. He told the CS to tread his path carefully after learning from the action of the PSC.
“He just needed to apologise and humble himself. Education is a social sector where social values are valuable…Let this be a lesson to all of us in the public sector to be careful the way we deal with human resource issues,” he said.
Defence of Magoha
But the CS was not alone in the battle. To his defence came the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary General who called for his protection. Sossion claimed that some ‘cartels’ want to ensure that Mr Magoha vacates office just like they machinated the exit of Sports Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed from the same docket.
“The same cartels who fought and removed CS Amina Mohamed are taking advantage of a minor incident to remove Magoha because of his stance against corruption,” Sossion said.
The Knut boss said the actions of Magoha were blown at out of proportion at a time that he was on a mission to get an under performing education officer to give an explanation.
I’m “What really was the personal concern of Magoha at Langas Primary School? Proper hygiene and he was asking questions to his field officer?” Sossion posed.
“A minor thing is being blown out of proportion and cartels are taking advantage to have him out.”
He lashed at the PSC for stripping powers off Magoha’s office, arguing that the decision was technical sacking of the CS.