CS Magoha apologises for his bad jokes

Magoha

Education CS George Magoha addresses journalists at Ofafa Jericho Secondary School in Nairobi on August 17, 2022.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha on Wednesday apologised to Kenyans for jokes he made that may have been in bad taste.

Speaking at a press conference after commissioning phase two of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) classrooms in Embakasi, Prof Magoha said the results of his work speak for themselves.

Stating that he is a courageous man whose rise to the ministerial position was by God's grace, the CS said he is not perfect.

He thanked Kenyans for walking with him and taking the good, the bad and the ugly sides of him because in the end he is a human being. 

“There is no one who is perfect and I believe that for me to serve here it was by the grace of God. We are eagles and we fly high and we are not afraid. And we deliver. We deliver to the extent that even if you don’t like us as eagles, you can go and count what we have delivered,” he said.

“If during that process, we have looked like we are arrogant, then we seek your forgiveness but not that we are about to change. Eagles always keep on flying. Even when the eagle is going, he just disappears into the sky.”

In July, Prof Magoha apologised to NTV journalist Rukia Bulle for his remarks that associated her with an outlawed terrorist group last week.

The CS made the remarks while responding to a question from the journalist at a ceremony to lay a foundation stone for the second phase of the construction of CBC junior high classrooms at Pumwani Girls and Pumwani Boys secondary schools in Nairobi. 

Prof Magoha, instead of responding to the question, demanded to know where she had come from before making the remarks that were deemed to suggest that he was profiling her.

He apologised after meeting with a group of Muslim leaders led by the chairman of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem), Hassan Ole Naado.

“As leaders of Muslims, we met with the CS and he individually apologised to the affected journalist, the Muslim community and Kenyans. We have forgiven him since the affected journalist also forgave him. The issue is now settled,” he said.

A week later, he was caught up in yet another controversial video dismissing a man in a demeaning manner.

The incident happened on August 2 as he was inspecting and commissioning new CBC phase two classrooms at Bar Union Secondary School in Kisumu County.

In the video that also drew criticism, a man was shown giving the CS a jerrican to water a tree that had been planted in his honour.

“Get away from me, you smell of alcohol,” the CS is heard shouting at the young man in the company of police officers, teachers and students.

In another incident in November 2020, Prof Magoha was seen reprimanding a grey-haired senior citizen before dismissing him.

“The situation on the ground is not good,” he stated as he took issue with sanitation at the Langas Primary School compound in Eldoret. 

The man tried to respond, noting that the issue would be addressed and a report prepared.

“I am not talking about a report; I am talking about what is here on the ground. If I say you are a fool, would I be lying?” he said.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) withdrew some of his powers to manage human resource functions it had delegated to him.

The CS is known for being brash and stern in his pronouncements and one not to back down from his stance when issuing directives. He attributed this to the nature of his work, which he said demands that he implement government policies without fail.

“As the President's handymen, expect us to go with him, but we want to assure the public that we have taken all the arrows and the stones and forgotten about it because of our children.”

He said he was thankful to President Uhuru Kenyatta for giving him an opportunity to serve the country.

“As we galvanise this difficult time, can we cross the bridge when we get there?” he said.

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