President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta has left Kenyans surprised after ordering the cancellation of Christmas leave for all security agents and National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs) who include county commissioners, chiefs and their assistants.
The directive was conveyed on Wednesday by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, who said it takes effect immediately and is intended to ensure peace prevails during the festive.
The CS similarly stated that he is not exempted from the order issued by the Head of State in his capacity as Chairman of 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 in a statement.
“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.”
The CS consequently urged security forces and Kenyans alike to be vigilant during the festive period owing to ongoing political chaos being witnessed in neighbouring Ethiopia, Somalia and the general Horn of Africa region.
County commissioners, Chiefs and their assistants were directed to assist the government in realizing its projects and policies despite opposition from some individuals.
“A government must be run on order. As a CS, how can I have 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 walkout before we eject you. Public service is not a mandatory call,”
The CS was speaking in Kajiado County on Wednesday during a ceremony held in honour of Senior Principal Chief Roika ole Shira at Kekurro location.
A ‘senior principal chief’ is the highest-ranking post among chiefs and is reserved for those who demonstrate exemplary leadership. Save for exception 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.