KWS acting Director General, Dr. Erustus Kanga hosted the Principal Secretary, State Department for Wildlife, Hon. Silvia Museiya, and the Chair, KWS Board of Trustees, Lt. Gen. (Rtd.) Walter Raria Koipaton at KWS headquarters on Friday, 20th January, 2023.
The Principal Secretary, Hon. Silvia Museiya, spoke briefly on three topics: change, relationships and priorities.
On change, the PS said that following successful elections in August 2022, there was a new regime in place, adding that the Service is also transitioning to a new DG and all other cadres, including the PS and Cabinet Secretary. “Change is constant and a necessity in life, and with that change are casualties and beneficiaries,” said PS, adding that staff needed to embrace the new leadership in the Service and the country, as a whole. She exhorted staff to participate and enjoy this new season and give of themselves in their duties to the Service.
Secondly, Hon. Museiya reminded staff that there was a new government and manifesto, and work is conducted through MDA’s (Ministries, Departments and Agencies). The PS explained that the Ministry was working closely with KWS, Wildlife Research and Training Institute (WRTI) and Wildlife Clubs of Kenya (WCK), for these bodies to understand and internalize the President’s vision of the bottom-up model outlined in his manifesto. “There will be a few changes in the way we work and perceive our mandate. The idea of conservation will have to be working to benefit the common man who lives in and within the protected areas,” the PS stated, adding that there would be a re-prioritization in the way work was done in KWS.
On relationships, the PS encouraged staff to create working relationships with God, their bosses and amongst themselves, cautioning against acrimony and disharmony, because accountability to self, families and to God was due at the end of the day. Hon. Museiya prompted those in authority to treat their juniors with respect and give guidance. The PS pledged support to KWS from her office and the Ministry in order to leave a legacy, even as she cautioned staff against hostility and sabotage, which would lead to severe consequences following the application of rules, regulations, processes and procedures.
Hon. Museiya encouraged staff to feel free to call on her office and share ideas and innovations on making the Service a better place. She added that while protocols would be observed, H.E. President Dr. William Samoei Ruto, had advised that bureaucracies would not be a hindrance to work being done.
Chair of KWS BoT, Lt. Gen. (Rtd.) Walter Raria Koipaton, thanked the President for allowing him to join the team at KWS, and Hon. Museiya for his being invited to attend KWS’s Director’s Tea.
Lt. Gen. Rtd. Koipaton pledged his total commitment to work with the acting DG and all those in authority to drive KWS to great success. “Every organization has its strengths and weaknesses. Ours is not to focus on weaknesses, but rather, to turn these into opportunities,” he said, adding that he was determined to give the best he and his Board could, to enhance the working team he recently joined.
Acting Director General Dr. Erustus Kanga said the Service was privileged that Hon. Museiya has a keen interest to understand the inner workings of KWS, adding that these interactions would imbue the PS with the necessary leadership skills to provide the Service with the requisite resources to meet its mandate.
Dr. Kanga praised staff in attendance for their dedication to their work, saying that the Service’s success was owed to staff. “I have interacted with them, and I am happy to report that these men and women before you are patriots, whose commitment to their call of duty is commendable,” he added. The acting DG stated that enabling staff with a conducive work environment would boost wildlife development and tourism, leading to KWS regaining the title of being the world leaders in wildlife conservation. “I do believe, Madam PS, that it is your desire to provide us with the necessary resources to facilitate us to reclaim our rightful position,” Dr. Kanga added.
The acting DG reported that KWS’s highly disciplined workers have proven themselves during his five weeks as CEO, averring that their dedication has to be recognized at every point. However, it was necessary to tweak a few areas, such as improving infrastructure and increasing vegetation cover, he said. Dr. Kanga stated that the Service was benefitting from continuous policy guidelines received from the State Department of Wildlife, committing to always adhere to set guidelines, even as he thanked the Government for appointing a new BoT Chair. “General Walter is a senior citizen in this country, and we are proud to know that he was the Kenya Army Commander, so he brings to the Service, much knowledge and skill,” Dr. Kanga stated. The CEO urged the PS to fast track the appointment of the other Board members, so that the Board could be fully functional and provide the guidance that KWS really needs.