The Executive is too political for technocrats to work well

President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) with the new Cabinet Secretaries after they took oath of office on May 15, 2013, at State House in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • No one was better at manipulating the National Assembly in this way than Daniel arap Moi: towards the end of the one-party era, the former president appointed so many ministers and assistant ministers that they made up a majority of the Legislature.
  • Instead of criticising individual players, they start to wonder if the problem lies with the team or with the tactics employed by the manager. If things don’t improve, they soon start calling for the manager to be sacked, assuming that a new boss will be able to inspire the players to better things.
  • South Korea is one of the most famous examples, but success stories can also be found in Africa. For example, Botswana’s effective use of its diamond deposits owes much to the ability of senior civil servants to convert resource wealth into long-term benefits.

The lure of technocracy is easy to understand. Who wouldn’t want to be governed by a well-functioning administration run by experts who can bring both experience and professional skills to the job?

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