Will public officers protect public resources as ordered by the President?

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President Uhuru Kenyatta today met with senior security officials to discuss on national security matters.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Let me, first and foremost, wish you all a Happy New Year. Before I proceed any further, l ask you all to stand and observe a moment of silence in honor of those who lost their lives, from the attack by terrorists at 14 Riverside Drive last week.

Ladies and Gentlemen, As I underscored when I addressed the Nation last week, we will pursue those who planned and financed the attack, using all instruments at our disposal, to ensure we weaken their capacity to hurt us. I thank all Kenyans for pulling together, during that trying moment in a show of solidarity and patriotism. It is such unity of purpose and resilience that made it possible for us to defeat the enemy and save many lives. Standing together and bonding with one another, is, indeed, stronger than any weapon we might have. I thank our security forces for their bravery, professionalism and firmness in confronting and neutralizing our enemies. Our multi-agency team has already arrested several individuals linked to the attack. As this exercise continues, I urge all Kenyans to remain vigilant. It will take all of us to fight this demon of terrorism and violent extremism.

Ladies and Gentlemen, It is not debatable that since 1963 when we became a free Nation, we have made significant progress in improving the well being of our people. But we still need to do more to fully contain poverty, ignorance and disease; and in particular the unemployment problem of our youth. I want us all to fight this war against poverty, ignorance and disease, with the same zeal and single-minded focus, as we are fighting the war on terror. This is the only way we can succeed. Ladies and Gentlemen, You are a critical link between security and development. I invited you here today, to outline measures we will take to make 2019 a transformational year, for the people of Kenya.

First, all Government agencies and departments, must subscribe to the One-Government Approach policy. I will require all Ministries, departments and semi-autonomous agencies, to embrace the same multi-agency approach under the National Security Council, which is being pioneered with significant success. You will have noticed the seamlessness with which the security agencies, responded to the terrorist attack last week. We seek to achieve the same level of coordination and synergy, between all National Government departments. Second, I expect you to be the lead officers, of the National Government development agenda, in your jurisdiction. Regional Commissioners, will chair the Regional Development Implementation Committee, while County Commissioners will chair, the County Development Implementation Committee. You will be provided with clear guidelines on standards, procedures and reporting requirements. This directive is meant to increase efficiency, speed of delivery, better utilization of public resources and reduce wastage and gate keeping. Ladies and Gentlemen

Third, I expect you to protect public resources, as if they were your own. Kenyans expect it of all of us. I hereby direct all Regional Commissioners, County Commissioners, and Police Commanders to treat gate-keeping, rent-seeking, fraud and misuse of resources as a threat to the unity, well being and security of our Nation.The fight against corruption is won or lost daily on the ground, and I expect you to show courage, integrity and resourcefulness to fight it.

Fourth, to enhance the progress made by the integrated Population Registration System (IPRS), my Administration will complete a central master population database, which will be the authentic ‘Single source of truth’ on personal identity in Kenya. The database will contain information on all Kenyan citizens as well as foreign nationals residing in Kenya. For each registration, the National Integrated Identity Management Systems (NIIMS), will generate a unique identification number that will be known as Huduma Namba. The County Commissioners, will provide oversight and coordinate the execution of Huduma Namba related activities in the Counties.

Fifth, we must effectively manage, coordinate and regulate our environmental resources, in order to conserve the environment for future generations. To this end, Regional and County Commissioners are directed to reactivate County Environment Committees, which will be responsible for regulation and protection of all gazetted forests and vital water towers in their jurisdictions. As Chairs of these committees, you will be held responsible for any cases, of environmental destruction and degradation.

Sixth, I expect you to play a crucial role in enforcing the policy of 100% transition from primary to secondary school and ensuring that no child is left behind.

Seventh, I expect the County Commissioners to ensure that every county has launched and is implementing a “County Action Plan for the Prevention and Countering of Violent Extremism”.

Some counties, like Mombasa, are already showing the way; all of you will need to follow their example. You will be expected to report on your progress, on your collaboration with civil society groups, religious leaders and other stakeholders, to ensure that radicalized Kenyans and radicalizers who present a threat to the security of our people, are quickly detected and dealt with.

I now wish to focus on “The Big Four Agenda”, which is anchored in the Medium Term Plan III and underpinned by Vision 2030. As you are aware, we have identified four pillars: revamping manufacturing for jobs creation, increasing food and nutrition security, affordable housing, and universal health coverage. You have a critical role to play in ensuring effective implementation of this Agenda, as you are my eyes and ears on the ground. I expect you to communicate the essence of the Big4 agenda, to report emerging implementation constraints and highlight important gains at the grassroots.

Further, I expect you to provide security for critical infrastructure, installations and trading centres, to facilitate a 24-hour economy. Ladies and Gentlemen, My administration remains committed to devolution. The County Commissioners, as provided under the Inter-Governmental Relations Act, shall be responsible for relationship management and act as the key liaison with County Governments. I expect you to work closely with the County Governments, to coordinate the implementation of cross-cutting policies and development programmes to enhance efficient service delivery to citizens. A key role in your support to County Government will be in matters related to good governance, rule of law, and security. To effectively discharge these responsibilities as coordinators of development projects, you will be required to acquaint yourself with development projects in your respective jurisdictions.

I have full confidence in your ability to deliver under this framework. I want you to be fighters for Kenya and Kenyans. Allow no one to intimidate or distract you from your real job. You have my full support and that of my entire administration. I thank you. God bless you all.

God bless Kenya.

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