Man about town

Muchiri’s rise to Public Service Commission boss

psc

Amb Anthony Mwaniki when he appeared before The National Assembly Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security on December 7, 2021, for vetting for the position of Chairperson, Public Service Commission. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

The newly appointed chairperson of the Public Service Commission (PSC) Antony Mwaniki Muchiri has a net worth estimated to be Sh114 million.

Mr Muchiri, who previously served as Kenya’s ambassador to Cuba, said he accumulated the wealth largely through salaries and allowances.

He told MPs that part of the wealth was accumulated through investments but did not disclose areas of investments.

“The nominee added that he has made some investments and inherited property from his parents and grandparents,” a vetting report tabled in Parliament stated.

Mr Muchiri replaced Stephen Kirogo who passed on in May while receiving treatment at the Nairobi Hospital.

Wealth declaration forms are important tools that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) uses to detect corruption by individual public officers.

The EACC monitors the declaration of income, assets and liabilities of the officers, which it uses to track down those involved in shadowy dealings where their declared wealth does match their salaries and other sources of income.

The Public Officer Ethics Act also requires everyone joining the public service to make wealth declarations within 30 days of assuming State or public office.

The National Assembly last evening approved the nomination of Ambassador Muchiri for appointment as the chairperson of PSC.

MPs adopted the report of the Administration and National Security committee which cleared Ambassador Muchiri to fill the vacant post at the PSC.

“Having considered the suitability, capacity and integrity of the nominee and pursuant to Article 250(2)(b) and the Constitution…the committee recommends that the National Assembly approves the nomination and subsequent appointment of Ambassador Antony Mwaniki Muchiri as the chairperson, Public Service Commission,” Peter Mwathi said in the report.

Mr Muchiri, who also serves as the High Commissioner, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Kenya to Jamaica, Barbados, St. Kitts & Nevis, Guyana, the Dominican Republic, and the CARICOM (the Caribbean Community), is set to take office after formal appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Making her remarks during the swearing-in of Mr Muchiri, Chief Justice Martha Koome said PSC is an innovation intended to safeguard public servants from political patronage and promote meritocracy as the distinguishing characteristic of the public service.

“It means that the PSC is a priceless asset in our governance system as it is the driver of Kenyans’ desire to have a nonpartisan, meritocratic and responsive public service. The implication is that how the PSC discharges its obligation affects the quality of our democracy,” she said.

The CJ reminded Mr Muchiri that the Commission must always bear in mind that the government must be the model employer in society.

“Thus, you must be the benchmark to be emulated by the other employers in the public and private sector. This means that the Commission should strive to set high standards that honour meritocracy, transparency and fairness in the employer-employee relationship,” she said.

Mr Muchiri joined the civil service as an entry-level assistant inspector in the Inspectorate of State Corporations.

He later served as a District Officer in the Ministry of Interior, Information and Planning. He had a stint at the Cabinet Affairs Office and Office of the Head of the Public Service and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The PSC chairperson beat twelve other candidates including PSC vice-chairperson Charity Kisotu and former Special Programmes PS Mahboub Mohammed Maalim to clinch the post.

Others were Selly Jemutai Kimosop, Charles Onami Maranga, Kennedy Juma Mulunda, Susannah Rebecca Ochieng, Maurice Mutinda Wambua, Nancy Oundo Dalla, Elseba Jepkoech Too, David Kung’u Njoroge and Duke Omondi Orata.

The selection panel received 99 applications (73 male and 26 female). Of the applicants, 25 had doctoral degrees, 49 (masters), 23 (bachelors) and two (diplomas).

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