President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday during the Jamhuri day fete put civil servants on the spot for failing to relinquish their private practices and focus on serving the nation.
Specifically, Uhuru expressed his concern over Members of Parliament and Senators representing government officials in court, while they are the same individuals charged with creating laws binding the same civil servants.
In his address during the Jamhuri Day celebrations at Nyayo Stadium, Uhuru appeared to be indirectly referring to politicians Kipchumba Murkomen and Mutula Kilonzo Jr, who are both members of the Senate Assembly and are at the same time part of the legal team representing embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko in his ongoing corruption case in court.
"A teacher in public service, cannot have one foot in the classroom and the other in parliament…professionals who take up state or public office should give up private practice and devote their full time on public duties…" ~ President Kenyatta #JamhuriDay2019 pic.twitter.com/YCwzlaOFob
— NTV Kenya (@ntvkenya) December 12, 2019
The President revealed that the process of creation of a Conflict of Interest lawUhuru puts Murkomen, Kilonzo on the spot day after representing Sonko is already underway, a law meant to bars government employees from engaging in their professional side hustles, and compel them to solely engage in executing their public service mandate.
This, the President said, cuts across all professionals serving in the civil service such as doctors and engineers, who run private firms on the sidelines.
Uhuru also indirectly blasted embattled Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion, stating that one cannot insist on holding two civil service jobs at the same time.
“A teacher in public service cannot have one foot in the classroom and the other in parliament,” he said. Sossion is an ODM nominated MP.
“Professionals who take-up state or public office should give up private practice and devote their full time on public duties,” the agitated head of state noted.
He concluded by issuing the ultimatum that guilty parties should immediately choose one form of occupation, insisting that no person is forced to serve in the public service.
Some of the individuals bound to be affected by this directive include Rarieda MP Otiende Omollo, Siaya Senator James Orengo, among others.
It remains to be seen how the conflict of interest bill will be passed by Parliament yet a majority of the legislators will be directly affected if the law is effected.