Nairobi — Education Permanent Secretary James Ole Kiyiapi says that he will resign his position in the public service in March to embark on his presidential bid.
The PS told Capital News that he first intends to oversee the release of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results which are expected by the end of February.
"I will be transitioning after the release of the form four results and I have to do this a couple of weeks after the release. I must be launching my bid before April; I am ready now to do it," the PS said in an interview after appearing on the Capita In The Morning show.
Kiyiapi has progressively positioned himself as a contender for the highest office in Kenya in the next general election.
"My running for president has nothing to do with the other people running or not running. My running is because I have a vision for Kenya; I believe it is a course for our nation, it is about leadership and the destiny of our nation and I am offering my service as a public official who has served Kenyans all these years," he said.
The Constitution stipulates that public servants interested in political positions must quit the government at least eight months prior to the elections.
"I am already transitioning even now but my transition will be completed by April as a PS because you cannot just jump out since schools are going on and I would want it to be as smooth as possible," he said.
The PS further underscored the need for change on a national and local level to address the issues affecting the country.
"There comes a time when it is necessary to be bold enough and have the courage to express your opinion in a way everybody will understand. It is very clear that the successes and challenges our Kenyan people are facing are of great significance to any leader wishing to pursue justice and the needs of the citizens and that is why I am embarking on this journey," Kiyiapi said.
He noted that he was ready to tackle the challenges he is likely to face as a first-time presidential candidate and expressed optimism of overcoming them to become Kenya's fourth President.
"Developing others' potential is an important role for a leader. Encouraging others to expand their capabilities and take on additional assignments is part of the leader's responsibility. Leaders who feel threatened by the capabilities of others are challenged in this area and we are ready to move on."
"We are working round the clock with professionals, like-minded leaders to ensure we come up with a clear vision of my candidature. I am aware there are so many hurdles ahead such as tribalism, regional politics, money issues but I'm very optimistic," he said.
The former Moi University don and motivational speaker stated that there was a dire need to encourage Kenyans and young people especially to believe in themselves while at the same time giving them a chance to practice their skills in the various sectors of the economy.
"The moment you motivate our people especially the youth, that is the first thing that will guarantee a successful future for them. It's always good to let them be what they want to be, give them a chance to perform their duties without creating an atmosphere that gives an impression that they are in the wrong place," he observed.
The Education PS said he was ready to bring a new type of leadership that matches his youthful and fresh management skills.
"The reforms that have come have brought a lot of changes in our leadership and also created more opportunities to all of us. We have well trained personnel in various sectors but what we see is that most of the professionals are seeking greener pastures in other countries. How about we bring them back and give them an opportunity to practice here? That is the kind of leadership we are talking about!" he stated.