PUBLIC SERVICE must be more than doing a job efficiently and honestly. It must be a complete dedictation to the people…and in this regard, the County. Public service is about serving all the people, including the ones who are not like you!-CCW
FORMER US First lady Hillary Clinton once said ‘when there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit…
It has been proven through research and studies that the most effective way to fight poverty is typically to invest in girls’ education and bring women onto the decision making table.
All of the above is important, -and not just for the sake of basic fairness.
It is known fact , proven over and over again, with clear examples, that female leaders mater.
Placing women in leadership positions on development programming assures that resources are allocated fairly and effectively, a fact that Kilifi County governor Amason Kingi understands, only too well.
Evidence across the globe has shown that female leaders typically have more compassion and empathy and a more open and inclusive negotiation style.
Better said, modern ideas of transformative leadership are more in line with qualities women generally share.
The impact of women in public service has shown the world over, that women have had a clear impact on policy, programmes, and operations in various sectors.
A recent study showed that the impact arises not only from the inclusion of women’s perspectives, but also from leadership style a that are open, collaborative and less hierarchal.
Women are breaking through in politics and rising, and even though we are still short of women in public service, the likes of Governor Kingi, whose cabinet has an equal number of women a d men, we are making encouraging progress nevertheless.
Today’s problems require leaders thag have diverse skills sets and innovation that can only come from diverse ideas and players.
Women bring the skills, different perspectives and structural and cultural difference to drive effective solutions. In short, female leaders change the way global solutions are forged.
That is why it is important to keep pushing forward. Fairness and equality are admirable goals in themselves. And women have consistently proven that they are able to benefit policy in so important ways.
As the Coast Counties Watch (CCW) continues to acknowledge and celebrate these Amazon women, I (this writer) dare to say thag having more female leaders- from politics to the public service and to the boardroom, it is important.
Simply having female leaders changes the norms about who can lead and what qualities are necessary in leadership.
In a County like Kilifi, which still to some extent, suffers from backward traditions, Having women in leadership roles is breaking down cultural and structural barriers. It is showing the world what women can achieve!
We kick off with the arguably, most influential and powerful Executive member, a trusted individual whose elevation to hold a combined docket of some critical departments (Devolution, Public Service and Disaster Mangement), Mrs Rachel Musyoki-Mzee...
‘DOWN to earth’- an open and honest person, easy to deal with, a pleasure to find. The opposite of a person who acts important or proud, or lets their importance ‘get to their heads’…
That is what defines arguably, the most powerful Minister in Kilifi County government. Mrs Rachel Musyoki Mzee (Devolution, public service and disaster management) who is also one of those who were retained in Governor Amason Kingi’s second and last tenure.
Rachel does not agree with the modern leadership definition which is usually used to describe the person who sits at the top of an organization, group or any bodies that is pyramidal in nature, which implies a sense of control and a hierarchal power structure that caries with it emotive notions such as power or authority and connotations that reflect a commanding structure, that makes her very uncomfortable.
To Rachel, leadership has more to do with common sense and helping others to understand their situations, obligation and place in the world.
As she clearly put it to me, leadership to her, is more about and based on providing services to others, humanity, caring, compassion and modesty.
She came on board Kingi’s ‘dream team boat’ in 2013, which marked the beginning of a transformational journey in the politics of change and development under a new constitution.
Appointed on the platform of change, she understands every competing agenda and figure out to anticipate and manage politics by reducing uncertainties and making sincere efforts to help people feel respected and heard.
Rachel has grown to understand that when a leader becomes champion of good ideas, people within and without the organization will start knocking at her door with more good ideas.
With that, Rachel has quickly built a following and a chest full of great ideas that promote and sustain change.
Rachel says that building relationships through two way communication and dialogues key elements in her leadership approach emphasis more on connecting to others, especially people in the community.
By being the leader that she is, Rachel believes she is also helping to empower other women to do something that is important to them by providing a platform and opportunity to develop and to discuss and share their feelings and needs.
Without a dedicated and professional public service, Hon. Kingi’s legacy will suffer-big time!
Rachel says for service delivery to be efficient and effective, there has to be a professional, accountable and development-oriented public service.
As the executive in charge of Public service, Rachel says there is need to maintain and promote a high standard of professional ethics and be accountable. She says it is about conducting themselves in a professional and ethical manner when executing their responsibilities.
“Iam clear that for us to succeed, we must have highly skilled public servants who are committed to serving the people,”
Departments in various counties are still plagued by high levels of ethical and integrity issues, mal administration, fraud and corruption continue to be the scourge towards developing a professionalized public sector, thus contributing to poor levels of servuce delivery.
There are those public servants who on a daily basis, display professional, ethical values, then there are those who are the extreme opposite. Her task is to deal with the latter as well as commending the forme
“As government, we have committed to working together with organize Labour in
order to build harmonious working relationships as this benefits service delivery to our citizens. Working with various stakeholders to ensure there is stability in the public service is key”-Rachel
She says a well functioning public service is central to government achieving its objective of improving he lives of people, by addressing challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
We cannot address the principles of economic transformation if the public service is not delivering efficient services to the common mwananchi,” .
Rachel is a cabinet minister who was not only retained,but elevated too, thanks to excellent performance in Kingi’s first term and consequently earned a higher responsibility for herself.
In her, is a competent individual who will carry the road forward for Kingi’s development agenda in the next four years.
In his legacy term, governor Kingi seems to have set the bar very high for members of his ‘Dream team’ .
It is also clear that he is closely monitoring performance of each ministry and individual.
“If you score below FIVE out of 10 during the next evaluation process, I will have no other option but to fire you”-Governor Kingi
A participatory government, consultation and transparency is key to success-Rachel…
There is something that Rachel is very particular about, a factor that perhaps puts her ahead of the rest. A matter that is important in redefining citizen’s role in building good governance, all in a bid to enjoy the fruits of devolution.
It can be a simple thing that government in the past had failed on- strengthening the relationship between government and the citizens.
Even though strengthening the relationship between a government and its citizens is supposed to be an obvious priority for democracy, governments have been criticised for being remote from the people who are at times, direct victims of disasters, diseases outbreaks hunger , corruption… you name it.
“Calls for greater government transparency and accountability have grown as a result of which government must ensure citizens are well informed and also involved,”she says.
In Kilifi County, we invest adequate time and resources in building robust legal, policy, public relations and institutional frameworks. Experience has shown that without leadership and commitment throughout public administration, even the best policies will have little effect,”
“The key ingredients for success in engaging citizens in policy making include information, consultation and public participation. We call on every citizen to participate in the decision making process at the local level because in one way or another, they will be influenced by the policies implemented by the government,”-Rachel
Over the years, Rachel adopted strategies to help Kilifi government to face challenges and especially draw community participation and commitment through participatory style of leadership.
Before now, Rachel was the Executive member for Health, a sector she helped to transform before her elevation.
Thanks to her leadership as the executive member for health, Rachel helped to transform health sector, once neglected health facilities, into institutions that can deal with various forms of ailments
As health executive, Rachel oversaw a team of 1,400 employees and over 800 casuals with a total of 142 health facilities in entire county. She managed to complete and open over 20 new facilities in rural areas, shortening the distance the citizens cover to seek help, and leading to a 45 percent reduction in transfer requests by staff out of the department, , by all means, a a high achievement within county government health sector.
She coordinated different donor funded programs, including Dan Iraq fund, results based fund, free maternity, UNFPA, and hospital security social fund by having proper policies and strategies of accountability on usage of disbursed funds outlined by county government, a critical factor that led to her elevation
In recent months, we have witnessed thousands affected by floods, taken care of. Her docket has seen over 60,000 people affected properly taken care of, provision of water tanks and shelter for 1,223 households.
What it will take for members of Kingi’s ‘dream team’ to build and protect his legacy…Will they deliver?
The ODM governor set the ball rolling in January this year after carefully lining up a Cabinet that he believes can protect his legacy as he serves his final term.
He has set the direction and what he needs now, is results, period!
His team must see the bigger picture-an in-depth understanding and knowledge of how their roles fit with the support the objectives of the wider public needs and interests.
It will be about focusing their contribution on the activities which will meet the goals and deliver the greatest value.
It will be about scanning the political context and taking account of wider impacts to develop long term implementation strategies that maximize opportunities to add value to the common mwananchi and support economic, sustainable growth.
The dream team will also have to be effective by taking initiatives and seeking out change and improvement. This will especially go a long way for those who were retained in the Cabinet, learning from what has worked as well as what hasn’t. Being open to change and improvement and working in smarter and more focused ways.
For leaders, it will be about creating and encouraging a culture of innovation and allowing people to consider and take informed decisions. I am talking about continuously seeking out ways to improve policy implementation and building a more flexible and responsive public service.
The dream team will have to make effective decisions. It is about using south judgement, knowledge to arrive to accurate , expert and professional decisions and advice. It is about reaching evidence based strategies, evaluating options, impacts, risks and solutions. It will be about maximizing returns while minimizing risk and balancing a range of considerations to provide sustainable outcomes.
All eyes are on the dream team, and the skills they bring to the job. What the people of Kilifi need is a leadership style that inspires admiration. A cabinet that ensures not just collective responsibility, but one that is characterized by transparency, accessibility, openness and a willingness to collaborate for the greater good of Kilifians!.
The CCW will be sharing with you, their strategies and achievemets and how the common mwananchi is benefitting…