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Integrity Bill Vs Kenya: The Headache That Lies Ahead

25 October 2012, 12:13 Paul Orodi

Every one recites chapter six of the constitution. Whether it is the Chief Justice or the first year law student, the chairperson of the Constitution Implementation Committee or the unemployed youth relaxing with his buddies in the estate, this chapter has given birth to many dialogues. It is a chapter never seen before, and with it came the never-ending theories and debates on who is ethical and who is not; who has integrity and who does not.

Well, rest assured that the bar has been set really high for anyone seeking public office thanks to this very chapter of our constitution.

A fine example is the case of Mumo Matemu. Having been selected to head the Anti-Corruption agency, his only remaining huddle was being vetted by a committee set up by the August House.

Very few Kenyans knew who this man was, until his rejection by the vetting committee was made final and public. This decision dealt him a heavy blow and consequently sent shivers through the spines of a multitude of public officers and prospective public officers.

Next came the judges who were requested to either step aside and retire honourably, or face the vetting board formed by the Judicial Service Commission. Any judge who chose to retire instead of facing the vetting board would receive full benefits in respect to their capacity served in the justice system. However, those who decided to face the vetting board and happened to be found incompetent would be stripped off their titles and sent home immediately.

Kenyans expected many judges to retire honourably and go home as respectable men, but this was not the case since none of them was ready to vindicate themselves. This resulted in the vetting process sweeping through the entire top structure of the justice system.

The result of this enormous vetting process in the justice system is still being felt almost a year after its set off. Close to about seven judges have so far been found incompetent, and more are yet to be caught on the wrong side of the integrity bill.

All said and done, the most tantalizing test for the country is yet to come. Signs have already started showing as people are all over debating on whether the Hague-based duo should be allowed to vie or not. It is a gamble of high stakes to this country.

Campaigns are already high in motion and the two famous men, Uhuru and Ruto, are crisscrossing the country in search of votes. This is amid the voices opposing their bids which stem from the chapter six clause.

Whether to stand or not is not for me to decide but the people of this great republic. That is the message that came just a few days ago from the chief prosecutor at the ICC, Fatou Bensouda.

However, the man highly held by Kenyans as the problem-solver during the post election violence thinks otherwise. He outwardly ascends to the idea that the two suspects be given passes to vie for the top job.

With all this happening, the person to be put on the spotlight will be the chair of the Ethics and Anti-corruption Agency and of course the Chief Justice, Willy Mutunga.

This will be a test of times for the two as the whole country is eager to know their fate in respect to the presidential election.

Whichever way it all goes down, the elections are set for March 4th, 2013 and the IEBC is not backtracking on this. Everything is in place and the registration is all that awaits to be done before millions pour out in search of their next president. Even as we head towards the ballot, let us all remember that this country is greater than any individual and that peace is paramount amid all other circumstances.


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