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Senators ask President Kenyatta to promptly replace EACC commissioners

11 June 2015, 08:21 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Senators in the Legal and Human Rights committee have asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to promptly start the process of hiring new Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commissioners to safeguard the fight against graft.  

Senators Mutula Kilonzo Jnr (Makueni) and Stephen Sang (Nandi) said lack of commissioners following the resignation of EACC chairman, Mumo Matemo and his deputy Irine Keino has created a lacuna in the functioning of the commission.

The senators warned that the absence of commissioners may hamper the progress of graft files forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to approve their prosecutions since persons implicated in corruption may challenge the improperly reconstituted EACC’s secretariat.

They added the commission’s CEO, Halakhe Waqo has no authority to approve graft files to be forwarded to the DPP.

“The President should reconstitute the commission as a matter of urgency to save the war on corruption. The delay in replacing the commissioners is creating a gap and hindering the fight against corruption,” said Mutula.

He pointed out that the President violated the law and urged him to hasten the hiring process if he is committed to win the war on corruption.

Read Also:I am not a thief, says embattled CS Micheal Kamau

“The absence of the commissioners has given suspects a golden opportunity to move to court to challenge the actions of the secretariat. The law is clear; commissioners are the ones to forward files to the prosecutor,” said Mutula.

Sang asked a section of Jubilee MPs plotting to oust the DPP to desist from politicizing the fight against corruption and instead allow Tobiko to perform his duties independently as required by the Constitution.

“The committee urges the political actors to allow independent offices to carry out their mandate and stop politicization of the war on corruption,” said Sang.

The EACC Act gives the President powers to appoint a selection panel to advertise, interview and recruit commissioners.

The Act further provides that the President should appoint the panel 14 days after such vacancy arises in the Commission.

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