EXCLUSIVE: CS Machogu overrules PS Muoria’s appointment of Tuwei, maintains Dr Opwora as TVET Director
Ezekiel Machogu, the Cabinet Secretary in charge of the Ministry of Education on September 1, 2023, finally settled the matter over who is the Director of Technical Education in the State Department for Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
“This is to inform you that by the Central Human Resource Management posting, effected vide the letter dated August 15, 2023, under Ref. No. MPSG&AA.2/4, Dr Meshack C. Opwora is the substantive and bona fide Director, Technical Education, in the State Department for Technical, Vocational Education and Training,” confirmed a letter in possession of Nairobi News and signed by Machogu, adding: “For the avoidance of doubt, since there is a duly appointed and posted substantive Director, Technical Education, as contemplated in the State Department’s approved establishment, there can be no acting Director, Technical Education, at the same time.”
Prior to this memo, Principal Secretary Dr Esther Thaara Muoria had deployed Mr John Kiplagat Tuwei as the Acting Director of Vocational and Technical Education (DTE) on April 12, 2023, and congratulated him on his ‘well-deserved appointment’.
However, Hon. Machogu reinstated Dr. Opwora to be the Director of Technical Education through a memo to PS Muoria dated June 19, 2023, instructing her to facilitate handing over of the office to him.
According to a prior Nairobi News report, confusion in the Ministry and among its stakeholders was especially noted when Dr. Opwora and Mr. Tuwei were both designated to serve in the same position and had both been handling assignments designated to the TVET National Director.
At one point, during a recent TVET meeting on August 25, 2023, at Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisumu, Mr Tuwei graced the training of principals occasion where PS Muoria introduced him as the Director for Technical Education despite Dr Opwora being confirmed for the position.
It was reported that Dr Opwora had woes stemming from his alleged closeness to His Excellence, President William Ruto during the campaign season in the run up to the 2022 presidential elections, and had been forced to ‘step aside’ from his role for months but was later re-instated when CS Machogu took over the Education docket.
In a Ministry of Education document in Nairobi News’ possession on September 5, 2023, CS Machogu further informed all Chief Executive Officers and Directors-General in the aforementioned state department as well as all Principals of National Polytechnics and Technical Training Institutes that any approvals, directives or instructions given by anyone purporting to be Director Technical Education but not Dr Meshack Opwora should be ignored.
He further warned that anyone who disregarded Dr. Opwora’s directives and accepted anyone else’s directives purporting to be the Director of Technical Education would be dealt with.
“In the same vein, disregard any approvals, directives, or instructions granted or given by the duly appointed and posted Director, Technical Education, properly performing his function as such, will be dealt with appropriately, in line with the applicable legal, regulatory, and policy framework. Please note and take the necessary action,” concluded CS Machogu.
Dr. Opwora has served in the TVET sector for close to three decades with impressive results and reforms in the sector. He has worked as TVET Director since 2018 and has a Ph.D. in TVET from the University of Newcastle, Australia, coupled with a Master of Education in Educational Administration and Planning from the University of Nairobi.
He also holds a Master of Business Administration from Kenyatta University, a Bachelor of Education in Technology from Moi University, and is a fellow member of Engineering Technologists and Technicians of Kenya and a Member of the Australian Vocational Education Training Research Association.