Tough talk as new Cabinet Secretaries take office


Tough talk as new Cabinet Secretaries take office
Lands CS Farida Karoney addressing the press while taking her new office.

In Summary

  • Incoming Cabinet Secretaries have taken into their offices with tough talk following their swearing in on Friday.
  • Incoming Environment and Forestry CS Keriako Tobiko, while thanking President Kenyatta for bestowing upon him the trust and confidence to lead the docket, acknowledged the enormity and responsibility of the new waters he was treading into.
  • On her part, incoming Lands CS Farida Karoney promised a turnover in the docket saying her office would do whatever it took to serve Kenyans.

Newly minted Cabinet Secretaries spent their first day in office meeting their predecessors and charting the way forward in their new roles.

Taking to their new offices on Monday, the incoming CSs spoke with great vigor, promising to straighten their new offices and leave behind a mark.

Handing over her policy documents to her successor, outgoing Environment and Forestry CS Judy Wakhungu said; “Honorable Tobiko, I leave you with a very strong team of dedicated and very experienced civil servants of whom we are proud. Their record is not only renowned nationally, regionally, but also, internationally.”

Incoming Environment and Forestry CS Keriako Tobiko, while thanking President Kenyatta for bestowing upon him the trust and confidence to lead the docket, acknowledged the enormity and responsibility of the new waters he is treading into.

“This ministry –  the Ministry of Environment and Forestry – is really the foundation of the big four,” said Tobiko, in reference to President Kenyatta’s second-term key pillars of food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare.

Tobiko also acknowledged the work of his predecessor, nominated Kenyan ambassador to France, Judy Wakhungu saying he spent the seven days prior to his vetting at the environment and forestry offices and he found it “profoundly peaceful that all the policies across environment, biodiversity, natural resource management are there.”

On her part, incoming Lands CS Farida Karoney promised a turnover in the docket saying her office would do whatever it takes to serve Kenyans.

Taking over from Jacob Kaimenyi, Ms Karoney said; “This ministry will work towards achieving what we’re supposed to do. If we have to sleep in the office, we shall sleep in the office. Because our primary responsibility, really, is to the Kenyan public.”

The veteran media personality also spoke on the friction usually experienced between her ministry and that of the National Land Commission (NLC).

“Even with your own wife, brother or sister, there’ll be conflicts. It’s normal, we’re not expecting that it will be a bed of roses all through,” she said.

“In me you have a worker, a colleague, a friend, and I’m looking forward to starting the work,” she assured her juniors at the Lands docket.

The former Royal Media Services Chief Operating Officer also urged her colleagues at the ministry that the reforms launched by her predecessor had to continue and that their records would now have to be digitized for better performance.

On title deeds, Farida said; “We must give Kenyans the right to own their land. People should not sit on land if they do not own it.”

Pledging a partnership with the media, Farida also promised to ensure that the services rendered by the Lands ministry would reach the ordinary Kenyan.

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Story By Ian Omondi
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