Just who is PS Lillian Wanja Muthoni Omollo?


PS Lillian Omollo
PS Lillian Omollo

In Summary

  • Her career spans 18 years having worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a Project Manager of the Public Sector Reforms Programme between 2005 and 2011.
  • Before she was picked to be PS, she worked as chief executive of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD): an economic development programme of the African Union.
  • Omollo holds a Master of Education Degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Illinois, USA as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Kenyatta University.

She was arguably little known until the new Ksh.9 billion National Youth Service (NYS) scandal surfaced.

Lillian Wanja Muthoni Mbogo Omollo, 44, came into the public sector after ten years of working with international organisations.

Currently suspended, Omollo has been a Principal Secretary for barely two and a half years, during which time she has faced the tough responsibility of changing the face of NYS.

She came in when the institution had been bedevilled by the Ksh.790million scam.

During her vetting before a National Assembly team on December 11,2015, she made quite the impression.

A joint committee on the National Administration and Security Committee and the Labour Committee commended her saying: “…excellent communication and interpersonal skills as exhibited through her eloquence and articulation of issues.”

Omollo rode on her desire to empower the youth with the vetting committee noting that “her main goals as PS would be to create sustainable economic programmes for the youth. She noted that youth and public service were at the heart of development”.

Even though she had never directly worked for the government, the team repeatedly expressed confidence in her candidature.

“She is conversant with government accounting and reporting requirements, budgeting, performance contracting and administrative procedures which enable her to share and support best practices desirable in advancing the mandate of institutions,” their report said.

The skills demonstrated during her interview were again seemingly evident on Friday last week when she appeared before the Public Accounts Committee probing the NYS scandal.

In fact, the MPs were sympathetic to her situation wondering why she was sent on compulsory leave despite her track record in reportedly reforming the NYS.

Omollo holds a Master of Education Degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Illinois, USA as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Kenyatta University.

Her career spans 18 years having worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a Project Manager of the Public Sector Reforms Programme between 2005 and 2011; a season that probably prepared her for her current job.

Before she was picked to be PS, she worked as chief executive of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD): an economic development programme of the African Union.

While she now faces possible charges of abuse of office, conspiracy and neglecting duty, in December 2015 she got a clean bill of health.

The vetting committee found her to have no integrity concerns and that she was tax compliant backed with clearance from the relevant agencies.

A mother of three, Lillian Omollo still believes she is the best pick for the job and no one else can fit in her shoes at the moment.

“We have 45 million Kenyans and there are many who want this job, but no one equals me,” a confident Omollo told the PAC.

Omollo took over from Peter Mangiti who was sacked by President Uhuru Kenyatta following the Ksh.791million scam. He was later acquitted in one of the cases.

As for Omollo, the storm may have just begun to brew, with her short stint in government likely to make her the second highest profile figure to become a casualty of the NYS scandal.

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