Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha will no longer execute human resource management functions in the ministry after he was caught on tape humiliating a senior County Director last week, the Public Service Commission (PSC) has instructed.
Last week, Prof. Magoha kicked off a storm after he was recorded on camera scolding Uasin Gishu County Director of Education (CDE) Gitonga Mbaka in front of colleagues and primary school pupils. The incident happened at Langas Primary School in Eldoret Town.
The minister used derogatory term to refer to Mbaka after he (Magoha) found Langas Primary School in a state of poor hygiene.
“Nikisema wewe ni mjinga ni uongo (Would I be lying if I said you are foolish?),” exploded the exasperated Magoha.
Mbaka’s crime? The CS found the school untidy and the county education boss had to answer for it.
After scolding Mbaka, the minister ordered teachers to collect rubbish in the school compound in full view of their pupils.
And now, the PSC says following the humiliating incident, Magoha has been stripped of powers to oversee human resource functions at the ministry.
“The Public Service Commission has withdrawn the power to manage the human resources functions it had delegated to the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Prof. George Magoha, with immediate effect,” says PSC communications director, Browne Kutswa, in a press release Friday, November 13.
“In his place, the Commission has designated the Principal Secretary for Early Learning and Basic Education, Dr Richard Belio Kipsang, to be in charge of all human resource matters in the ministry,” added PSC.
According to the PSC, Cabinet Secretaries — being the Chief Executive Officers of ministries and State departments — are designated as authorised officers exercising delegated powers and functions of the PSC in the management of the human resource under their purview.
Kutswa said PSC chairperson, Stephen Kirogo, has written to all public universities councils and the Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua, to inform them about the removal of Magoha as the human resources boss in the Ministry of Education.
“All human resource matters requiring the attention of the PSC shall henceforth be handled by Dr Kipsang as authorised officer of the ministry until further notice,” said the PSC.
The PSC says the taking away of the HR powers from Magoha is meant to “protect public servants against undignified and unwarranted attacks”.
Teachers who spoke to K24 Digital about the Eldoret incident, termed Magoha’s bullying of a senior education official as “quite humiliating”.
“It was quite humiliating, but we had no option but to abide by the directive,” one of the teachers said.
On Tuesday, November 10, the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) demanded an apology from the CS, accusing him of disrespecting education officials.
Addressing a press conference in Nairobi, Kuppet national chairman Omboko Milemba protested that the CS’s conduct was unbecoming of a senior public official, let alone one who sets and directs policy on education in the country.
On Wednesday, November 11, Magoha, during a tour of Machakos County, said he wasn’t going to apologise over the Langas Primary School incident because that was his modus operandi.
“Nobody should be surprised at how I do things, I was in KNEC. I made things work and now I am here to protect the interest of parents and children. Anytime I cannot do that I have no business being here,” said the CS.
Mr. Gitonga Mbaka will retire early next month.