, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 26 – Prominent city lawyer Dr PLO Lumumba has been nominated for the post of Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) Director which fell vacant following the resignation of Justice Aaron Ringera in September.
The KACC Advisory Board also announced that it had proposed lawyer Pravin Bowry and educationist Prof Jane Kerubo Onsongo as directors in charge of Legal Affairs and Prevention Services respectively.
The three will however have to wait for Parliament’s approval since the law provides for legislators to vet the names before they are presented to the President for appointment.
“Throughout the recruitment process, the board was guided by law and its commitment to be impartial and independent,” Okong’o Omogeni who heads the Advisory Board told reporters at a news conference on Thursday.
“We were also driven by the pressing need to recruit Kenyans of high integrity and competency who have the experience, courage and determination to fight the war against corruption and restore confidence of the nation in our quest to fight corruption,” he added.
Mr Omogeni who was accompanied by other board members told reporters that they received 197 applications for the three vacancies, but considered only eight for each post.
This followed an advertisement placed in the local media on October 2 this year, two days after Justice Ringera and his deputy Fatuma Sichale bowed to public pressure and quit the plum positions.
Another Assistant Director who was in charge of Preventive Services Dr Smokin Wanjala had resigned two weeks earlier.
The resignations followed an outcry from Parliament and the civil society who faulted President Kibaki’s move to re-appoint the three when their terms expired, without due regard to the law.
Some civil society organisations even moved to court over the re-appointments which they termed “unconstitutional”.
When the board announced the nominees on Thursday, it defended their professional backgrounds and personal integrity, saying they were qualified to hold office.
On Dr Lumumba’s nomination, the board said it settled on him because he has the “dynamism and interpersonal skills to rally the country behind him and build wide consensus and partnership necessary to win the war against corruption.”
Dr Lumumba commonly known as PLO is an candid advocate of the High Court of Kenya and Tanzania.
He is a holder of Bachelors’ and Master’s Degrees in Law from the University of Nairobi, and a Doctorate of Law from the University of Gent in Belgium.
He has taught law at the University of Nairobi for 17 years and practiced as an advocate for the last 23 years.
Dr Lumumba was the Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (CKRC) between 2001 and 2005.
The distinguished lawyer who contested and lost the Kamukunji Parliamentary seat in 2007, has widely published and is a prolific speaker on anti-corruption issues in the country.
The man proposed to take over the position of Assistant Director, Legal Services is a prominent lawyer and advocate for 38 years.
He is an accomplished expert in criminal and civil law with experience in court procedures and rules of evidence, both of which are critical in getting convictions in the many corruption cases filed in court over time.
He is a graduate of the Kenya School of Law and an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda.
Mr Omogeni said the board settled on him because they were “persuaded by the urgent need of having a senior and experienced lawyer to lead our civil litigation team of lawyers in pursuing though civil suits the recovery of corruptly acquired assets and also defend the commission in constitutional reference cases filed against the commission.”
Prof Jane Kerubo Onsongo
She has been nominated to fill the vacant position of Assistant Director, Education, Research and Prevention Services.
Prof Onsongo is an Associate Professor of Education and Deputy Director Research at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA).
She holds a PhD in Higher and Further Education from University College London. She also holds an MA in Women and Higher Education from the same university.
She also has a MEd in Education Communication and Technology from Kenyatta University and a BEd in History and Religious Education from the same university.