Taxpayers want State bodies empowered to vet holders of public office

April 21, 2017 (2 days ago)
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MMC Africa Law, has filed a case on behalf of KNHRC at the Supreme Court seeking the Advisory Opinion on Chapter Six of the constitution.

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 21 – Taxpayers have expressed concerns that Kenyans may elect into public office, persons of questionable integrity and who may not meet the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), represented by MMC Africa Law, has filed a case at the Supreme Court seeking the Advisory Opinion on Chapter Six of the constitution that entrenches integrity and transparency in governance.

The reference is specifically targeted at persons who have been holding public office and have been found by the Auditor General to have embezzled or misused public funds.

Article 35 of the Constitution guarantees every Kenyan the Right to Information. However, information on the integrity of public office holders only comes to the surface when someone goes to court.

‘’KNCHR would like the Supreme Court to make a specific finding as to whether Chapter Six of the Constitution sets up a fit and proper test for leadership for both elective and appointive offices, whether that test should be objective or subjective and also whether that test should be wider than the criminal test,” according to the Reference filed by MMC Africa Law.

“Some of the persons who will be offering themselves for election in the forthcoming elections have been found by legally and constitutionally established fact finding institutions to have been involved in gross misconduct,’’ the Reference goes on to say.

Already, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has submitted to Parliament far-reaching amendments to the Election Regulations that calls for involvement of the Ethics and anti-corruption watchdog, EACC in clearing candidates.

Candidates contesting for positions of Governors, Senators, MPs and MCAs are required to obtain a ‘certified’ clearance certificate from the anti-graft agency under the proposed regulations.

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