One on one with Enforcement Officer Ann Kathurima

She is a qualified Public Health Officer, who now serves as an Enforcement Officer in the County Government of Nyeri.

When you talk of enforcement, what does it entail? Which unit are you attached to?

Enforcement entails using authority as a county officer to check for compliance of payment of revenue. Enforcement helps in tracing defaulters and making sure business owners pay their dues. Currently, I am attached to the Department of Alcoholic Drinks Control and Management.

What are the duties and responsibilities of an enforcement officer in your unit?

My responsibilities are enforcing and ensuring residents comply to the Nyeri County Alcoholic Drinks Control and Management Act which I achieve through field mapping and regular inspection of premises to ensure there are following the guidelines. I also handle clients at the customer care desk in the office, compiling and write reports.

For how long have you been in the service?

I have been attached to the unit for seven months now.

What is your experience working in an area which is normally male dominated? What challenges do you face?

My experience so far has been quite good albeit faced with a couple of challenges. For instance, people think that because I am a woman, I cannot harm/instruct them; as a result I face challenges such as ignorance, spite and critics from the clients I engage with. Fortunately, I have a very supportive supervisor who has been very helpful.

Enforcement officers are traditionally known for using force unto to clients. But of late Nyeri officers have changed tactics. How?

Force is not always the way of solving issues. As enforcement officers, we have resulted to using other diplomatic ways such as engaging the clients, reasoning out and explaining to them the mistakes done and how to correct them. We challenge them psychologically, to which they respond without even using force.

What efforts has the County Government of Nyeri done to improve your working conditions?

The county government has done a lot including providing us with uniforms that makes us easily identifiable in our working environment, provided us with working materials and also means of transport which have enabled us to effectively carry out our duties.

You are a qualified Public Health Officer with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health but you are now working as an enforcement officer. Why and how did you end up here?

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health but that did not stop me from applying the job as an enforcement officer which required a minimum of a KCSE certificate. I was a public health intern with the 2nd cohort under the Nyeri County’s annual internship programme, attached to Gichira Health Centre in Tetu sub-county. The vacancy advert was shared on our interns’ WhatsApp group, to which I successfully applied and was called for the position.

What advice would you give to your fellow youth who are jobless with degrees or staying idle at home waiting for white collar jobs?

A degree paper which is busy kept somewhere will not feed someone, they should not be afraid to start small. Small things grow to become big things so one should have a beginning point.

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