What you need to know:
- Rehema Kiteto is the youngest national government senior administration officer.
- She is among 200 newly recruited Assistant County Commissioners that the government has deployed to different parts of Rift Valley region ahead of the 2022 General Election.
At 24, her whole life is ahead of her. She is confident of her administration career and has achieved what many Kenyans can only dream of.
Meet Rehema Kiteto, the youngest national government senior administration officer.
Fresh out of university, and with little work experience, she applied for the post of assistant county commissioner, through the Public Service Commission last year. To her surprise, she got the job.
She is among 200 newly recruited Assistant County Commissioners (ACCs) that the government has deployed to different parts of Rift Valley region ahead of the 2022 General Election.
Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya met the new administrators on Tuesday at Langa Langa Secondary School, after their initial training ahead of posting to their respective divisional headquarters.
When the Nation caught up with the young administrator at Langa Langa, she exuded confidence, saying she is ready for her new role.
“I have always been fascinated about service to the people, it is my passion. Leadership is about service, which has been a part of all my life,” says Ms Kiteto, who hails from Kwale County.
She adds: “I saw the advertisement and immediately applied for it. I then crossed my fingers because, while I met all the qualifications required for the position, I had no connections.”
The Egerton University sociology, English and literature graduate was shortlisted and invited for an interview. Months later, she got the job.
Ms Kiteto has been deployed to Bomet Central, in Bomet County. She will, among other things, coordinate government projects in the area, articulate the government agenda and solve disputes.
She will also be a link between the government and the community, supervising chiefs and assistant chiefs.
After graduation in 2019, Ms Kiteto worked as a print journalist in Nakuru County.
She had also served as the Kazi Mtaani supervisor in Kwale and was also the county’s youth assembly deputy speaker.
Other than leadership and social work, she has also authored a children’s book, Hell in the Backyard and other Stories.
Ms Kiteto says she is passionate about gender equality and women in leadership.
"I aim to ensure that women enjoy equal rights as men in the society, whether in workplace or at home. There should be no cases of men or boys being given an advantage over the women and girls with the same abilities,” she said.
The position of assistant county commissioner is a senior role in the national government, often given to older and more experienced people. No wonder most people who learned about her appointment said she was too young for the job.
“I do not think age or gender should be an issue. My parents are happy about it and that is what matters most,” she said.
Her father is a salesperson while her mother keeps livestock in Samburu in Kinango, one of the driest regions in Kwale.
Ms Kiteto helped to raise funds to support children from Samburu who had passed their national examinations to join boarding schools.
Before applying for the administration job, Ms Kiteto had political ambitions -- she was planning to vie for member of county assembly for Samburu Ward.
“But politics is a dirty game. My family had already started being targeted with petty issues and I decided it was not the right path to take at the moment. What l now have is the leadership that I have always wanted,” she said.
She grew up in Kinango and went to Samburu Primary School before joining Mwasere Girls High School and later Egerton University.
In her free time, Ms Kiteto enjoys reading, writing and mentoring young people through an organisation she founded -- Samburu Hands of Compassion.
“Through the organisation, I assist bright students in Samburu to get access to bursaries and scholarships to join form one. My area being marginalised, many bright students would previously miss out on opportunities because they lack awareness,” she said.
She educates the youth about loans and teaches them about training and financing opportunities by the government.
Gender roles in society, she said, are close to her heart.
“I had to convince my father that I have to be treated equally as my brothers. He made me quit journalism because he thought it was not a safe career for me. He always complained that I was too aggressive. But no child is better than the other because of their gender,” she said.