A fairly seamless transition from one administration to the next after elections is the mark of a mature democracy. In the developed nations, the administrative system remains largely intact. The civil service should operate freely and efficiently irrespective of who or which political formation or party is at the helm.
However, since last year’s elections that brought President William Ruto and his Kenya Kwanza Alliance to power, there have been numerous changes at various levels and in some policies.
Of course, it is okay if the aim is to put the right people in positions to implement the ruling coalition’s manifesto. After all, at the end of the five years, voters will judge the new leadership on service delivery and fulfillment of election campaign pledges. But this should not undermine the execution of government duties.
One issue that is raising eyebrows in the transition from the Uhuru Kenyatta administration to President Ruto’s reign is the plan to splash Sh1 billion on a new digital national identity system. This is curious because it amounts to a phasing out of a similar programme effected during retired President Kenyatta’s tenure that gobbled up Sh10 billion.
This will be a massive waste of public resources over an apparent political fallout. Dr Ruto was, after all, the Deputy President in the last administration and must have been involved or had an input in the Huduma Namba registration that is being axed. In its place will be the Maisha Number. Interestingly, President Ruto has described the Huduma Namba as “a phantom project that was a complete fraud”.
During his one year in office, the President has reversed some of his predecessor's multibillion-shilling projects and bearing the brunt are the already heavily taxed Kenyans. It is quite evident that some of the cancellations are as a result of political differences. Leadership transition should not be a total overhaul but a continuation and improvement of existing systems by the successor.