Anxiety as Ringera nears exit

May 22, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22 – A power vacuum looms at the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) as contracts of Director Aaron Ringera and two of his assistants expire in the next four months.

Currently the positions of two other assistant directors are vacant. The Commission has since its inception operated without a Financial and Administration Assistant Director while the contract for the Assistant Director of Investigations expired last year.

The commission is also without an Advisory Board after the expiry of contracts of nine out of the 12 members last October. 

Speaking after touring the commission’s offices on Friday Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo said he would be picking up the matter with the office of the President and the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs and Administration of Justice.

“It is my work to check with Parliament and other administrative offices why this is the case. Probably that is why judges keep dropping anti corruption cases since we don’t even have an assistant director of investigations,” he said.

Although the Parliamentary committee conducted interviews and shortlisted names for the advisory board they are yet to receive Presidential assent. It is the board that has the responsibility of filling the empty posts.

KACC was formed in 2004 and mandated to spearhead the war against graft but has been accused of failing to crack the whip on key architects of corruption. Justice Ringera has on the other hand blamed the Judiciary and the office of the Attorney General for delaying prosecutions.

He has instead been pushing for prosecutorial powers, a position the new Justice Minster has opposed and is instead rooting for the establishment of an Independent Director of Public Prosecutions. The Minister said that it was not right to allow one agency to investigate and at the same time prosecute.

Mr Kilonzo has also proposed the withdrawal of prosecutorial powers from the police force.

“To avoid a conflict we should entrench the office of Director of Public Prosecution in the new constitution so that he has his powers from the law to ensure he is not compromised or pushed over by powers that be,” he said.

For more efficiency the minister said he would be petitioning the Attorney General to hire more prosecutors to beef up the existing number of 53. He said that he would work towards strengthening the relationship between KACC and the AG’s office to ensure speedy prosecutions.


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