Kenya President picks new anti-graft commission chiefBy AFRICAREVIEW.COM | Friday, May 11 2012 at 18:30
Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki has appointed Mumo Matemu as chairman of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).
In a gazette notice, the President also named Prof Jane Onsongo and Irene Keino as members of the anti graft body Friday.
"President Mwai Kibaki, in consultation with the Prime Minister, and in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by Section 6 (9) of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act, 2011, has today appointed Mr Mumo Matemu as the chairperson of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
"..the President also appointed Prof Jane Kerubo Onsongo and Ms Irene Cheptoo Keino as members of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission," said a statement from the Presidential Press Service.
Earlier, the Clerk of the National Assembly Patrick Gichohi had signed the certificate confirming that Mumo Matemu, Prof Jane Onsongo and Irene Keino had been approved by Parliament to lead the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and sent the names to the President.
Their nomination, and in particular that of Mr Matemu, a former Kenya Revenue Commissioner, had since December caused a stalemate in Parliament, dividing the House down the middle.
Some MPs had joined the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee in rejecting the nominees, arguing they appeared to lack the passion and drive to fight corruption.
They have also maintained that Mr Matemu be first cleared of allegations that he had deliberately failed to collect $28.7 million (Sh2.4bn) in tax arrears from a Nairobi based company, Kingsway Motors, during his time at KRA.
When the names were re-tabled on Thursday, only vice-chairman of the Justice committee Njoroge Baiya who is the Githunguri MP and his Ikolomani and Bonchari counterparts Boni Khalwale and Charles Onyancha respectively, opposed Mr Matemu’s nomination, citing integrity issues.
It has now emerged that the government was moving quickly to put the commission in place to forestall a looming staff crisis at EACC and Mr Matemu’s plate was already full even before he settled down to his new job.
The contracts of all the senior officers at the anti-graft commission have expired, putting at risk, pending investigation into sensitive cases and evidence already prepared.
According to Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, even ordinary contracts for employees at Integrity House had also not been renewed.
“These employees now feel threatened. Their own basic rights are undermined because there is nobody to make decisions with regard to the renewal or otherwise of their contracts,’’ Mr Musyoka told Parliament.
Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa, who was part of the committee that rejected the nominees, talked of the urgency to jumpstart the war against corruption and pleaded with MPs to approve the names.
“We need a commission in place that will take forward the steering wheel and move the vehicle of anti-corruption forward and especially now that we are headed to a General Election,’’ he said.
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