Posted by WAMBUI NDONGA on January 12, 2012
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 12 – Five civil society organizations led by Transparency International-Kenya have renewed their plea to the government for a fresh recruitment of members of the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC).
The non-governmental organisations argue that the process must be restarted in order to restore public confidence, which is required for the new body to effectively discharge its mandate.
TI-Kenya Executive Director Samuel Kimeu told journalists on Thursday that the succession politics surrounding the EACC had created a continued vacancy which threatened to derail the country’s war on graft.
Kimeu noted that Parliamentarians were wrong in amending the EACC Act without making practical provisions for the transitional period.
“The recruitment process and the vacuum in the EACC confirms our assessment that Parliament erred in enacting the law providing for the removal of the directorate of the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission without envisioning a smooth transition in the interim,” explained Kimeu.
International Center for Policy and Conflict Executive Director Ndung’u Wainaina also called upon Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo to initiate a fresh process of seeking anti graft commissioners.
He added that the civil societies would seek legal redress if the government ignored their call to restart the recruitment process.
“The Minister for Justice stated that the law establishing the anti corruption commission is so watered down that you do not have a commission you have a bulldog without teeth. His ministry is the one responsible and he cannot just sit there and lament,” argued Wainaina.
The group also accused politicians of paying lip service to the war on graft.
Center for Law and Research International Executive Director Morris Odhiambo added that the Executive had been engaging in horse-trading over the EACC selection process which also dealt a blow to the country’s fight against corruption.
“Corruption drives politics in this country and all these people we call leaders are, in one way or the other, tainted by corruption. It goes very high and it goes very low so if we don’t find a way of dealing with that reality then we will fail,” he argued.
Wainaina added that it would be better to postpone the establishment of the EACC rather than set up a commission that had faced credibility concerns.
The Federation of Women Lawyers- Kenya and the International Commission of Jurists- Kenya section were also present.
Members of Parliament are expected to take a vote on the fate of the proposed EACC Commissioners, when they break from recess, following an order by the Speaker for a fresh vote on the suitability of the names forwarded by the President to Parliament.
Mumo Matemu has been nominated for the position of Chairperson alongside Jane Onsongo and Irene Keino.
The group also called for the establishment of a credible Police Service Commission noting that its selection process was already facing challenges with two members of its selection panel retiring from their nominating bodies.
Attorney General Githu Muigai on Wednesday told journalists that he would issue an advisory on the Police Service Commission on January 13.