8 August 2012

Kenya: CIC Seeks MPs Help to Save Bill On Integrity

Stung by Cabinet's decision to mutilate the Leadership and Integrity Bill, the Constitution Implementation Commission has now said it will turn to MPs to ensure deleted clauses are reinstated. The commission has also threatened to move to court if MPs fail to reinstate clauses which the Cabinet deleted and made the proposed law unconstitutional.

The CIC, which is chaired by Charles Nyachae yesterday, said it is also considering writing "a detailed advisory" to President Kibaki, who chaired the Cabinet meeting where the Bill was diluted last week. "In fulfillment of its Constitutional mandate, CIC will be sending a detailed advisory to the relevant Parliamentary Committee and if necessary to the President for further action. In the event the Bill continues to carry with it any provisions that are unconstitutional, CIC will not hesitate to seek judicial intervention on the matter," said the commission.

CIC said the Leadership and Integrity Bill, 2012 should ensure the letter and spirit of the Constitution is respected and that expectations of members of the public as set out in Chapter Six are met. CIC maintains the Bill from the Cabinet is "ineffective" in implementing Chapter Six of the constitution. Last week, the Cabinet chaired by Kibaki deleted sections of the Leadership and Integrity Bill, which seeks to set standards for those seeking elective posts.

Among the sections deleted from the Bill, include the one which required that those seeking elective posts be vetted. The Cabinet also deleted clauses that required all aspirants and other state officers to declare their income, assets and liabilities before they are allowed to vie or hold public office. The Bill had proposed that all political aspirants or those seeking appointment first declare their income and liabilities to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to ensure only those who complied with Chapter Six of the constitution were allowed to run, or get appointed to state offices. The chapter deals with integrity.

Also deleted is a clause that would have required such aspirants for elective or state offices first secure a certificate from the EACC indicating they had complied with Chapter Six of the constitution. After such a request, the EACC was supposed to seek public views on that individual and get reports from various government organs such as the National Security Intelligence Service and the Kenya Revenue Authority.

Yesterday, CIC said that best practice and global experience together with numerous opinions from Kenyans indicated that for Kenya to fulfill Chapter Six requirements, the process of identifying leaders require an open, transparent and rigorous process. "Such a process can only work if the appointment of electoral process is supported by administrative mechanisms and procedures that help Kenyans identify competent, suitable, ethical, moral and visionary leaders," said CIC.

The commission said the Bill from the Cabinet is not a reflection of various proposals and memorandums received from the public on what should be contained in a leadership and integrity law. The Bill seeks to operationalise Chapter Six of the Constitution on Leadership and Integrity. Parliament is required to enact the legislation by August 27 this year, two years after promulgation of the new constitution in 2010.

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