Dr Gitonga Mbaka, the Uasin Gishu County Director of Education, who came to the limelight after an embarrassing dress down by Eduction Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has opened up about the incident.
In his visit to Langas Primary School on Friday, November 6, the CS was caught on camera calling the official a fool after he tried to respond to his queries on why the school was untidy.
In an interview with Nation, Dr Mbaka revealed that he and other government officials had accompanied the CS to the school for an inspection regarding the school’s Covid-19 preparedness and everything seemed okay until members of the press showed up.
“Other officials and I had taken the CS around the classrooms at Langas Primary School and he was satisfied that there were enough desks, thermo guns, and even water points for washing hands,” recalled Dr Mbaka.
“There was, however, change in after he saw the media and turned the focus on me asking why the school was untidy. Efforts to explain to him that construction activities were going on at the institution bore no fruit.”
Magoha. Magoha. Magoha. pic.twitter.com/WgJnfNGeVJ
— Ahmed Mohamed ((ASMALi)) (@Asmali77) November 7, 2020
After the video went viral the bullish CS was castigated for humiliating the elderly official and forcing teachers and students to collect garbage and dirt.
Following the incident, on Friday the Public Service Commission (PSC) announced that it had withdrawn the CS’s power to manage the ministry’s human resource functions with immediate effect.
In his place, the Commission designated the Principal Secretary for Early Learning and Basic Education, Belio Kipsang, to be in charge of the functions.
Even with the recent developments, Dr Mbaka, who is set to retire in March next year, stated that he had forgiven the CS and wants to go home in peace.
“I have forgiven the CS and I am focused on serving the country as I prepare for my retirement in March 2021 after over 35 years of service in the education sector,” he told the local publication on Saturday.
“…The PSC is my employer and I have left everything to them to decide. Any decision they make is up to them.”
The “idiot” slur, however, seems ironic for a man, with a doctorate from America’s Northwestern Christian University, a Master of Education degree from Australia’s Monash University, and a Bachelor of Education degree from Kenyatta University.
Dr Mbaka termed his humiliation as unfortunate, further saying that he saw no need to engage the CS in a verbal exchange.
“There was no way I was going to engage the CS in an exchange of words when there were pupils there. It could have been a sign of disrespect,” he said.
The official said some of his colleagues had asked him to ignore the CS’s insult.
“I have been receiving calls and text messages from my colleagues and directors at Jogoo House and even other officers who have also faced the same wrath from Prof Magoha, urging me to ignore what happened and concentrate on my work,” said Dr Mbaka.
Reacting to PSC’s move on Saturday, defiant and bereft of remorse Prof Magoha indicated that he will continue to discharge his duties with zeal adding that only President Uhuru Kenyatta can direct him on how to work.
“Unless otherwise directed by my appointing authority, I shall continue to perform all my duties and responsibilities with zeal and commitment and ensure that all officers in the Ministry of Education perform their duties for the benefit of the Kenyan child, parents and all education stakeholders,” he said during an inspection of desks at Ayany Primary School in Kibra.