PRESIDENTIAL aspirant Prof James ole Kiapi has called for the Education ministries to be reintegrated.
Speaking at the Kenya Institute of Education, Kiapi said that it was counter-productive having separate ministries of Basic and Higher Education. He said that bureaucrats were now obsessed with infighting. He did not mention the ministries of Medical Services and Public Health but they are clearly as dysfunctional as Education.
Kiapi is absolutely right but the matter is almost out of his hands. The new constitution clearly specifies that the next government should have "not fewer than 14 and not more than 22 Cabinet secretaries". Under the next government, ministers will be called secretaries, so the maximum number of ministries will be 22.
Today Kenya has 42 ministers and 52 assistant ministers. This is totally excessive, but partly a result of accommodating both sides in the coalition government. If Kiapi wants to sound radical and progressive in his campaign, he should assure voters that he will not have more than 14 ministers, the minimum allowed by the constitution. Bureaucrats and ministers would then have too much work on their plates to start turf wars, plus we would save a lot of money.