, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 5 – The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) on Wednesday said those facing court cases were free to vie until they exhaust all appeal avenues.
EACC vice chairperson Irene Keino clarified that the law only bars those who have been convicted of unethical offences and have finalised all appeals.
“Section 24 (3) and 25 (3) of the Elections Act says that a person will not be disqualified unless all possibilities of appeal or review of the relevant sentence or decision have been exhausted,” she asserted.
This declaration appears to clear the way for Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto whose crimes against humanity charges are due to commence at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in April next year.
A civil society organisation has moved to court in Kenya seeking to bar the duo from contesting in the polls owing to the pending ICC cases.
The commission has also set a December 21 deadline for all aspirants of elective posts to fill and submit self-declaration forms for the commission to begin the process of clearing them to run in the elections.
The EACC will compile a report and submit it to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission by end of January to determine if candidates meet the integrity standards required to vie for elective positions in the March 4 polls.
“The commission would like to inform persons seeking elective positions to submit to EACC duly completed forms as required on the provision on Leadership and Integrity Act 2012 by Friday December 21,” she announced.
Keino said the forms can be picked and dropped at the EACC offices across the country. They are also available for download on http://www.eacc.go.ke/.
The commission has defined some of the disqualifications to include corruption charges, dishonesty, people removed from public office and, among others, those who lack moral and ethical standards.
An aspirant is expected to state if they have ever been engaged in dishonesty in the conduct of public affairs, abused public office, giving false information to the public, wrongful conducts for personal benefit, misuse of public resources and discrimination of other people.
Others include failure to declare wealth by those who have worked as public officers, breach of Public Officer Ethics Act and those who have ever been convicted and sentenced for imprisonment for a period of at least six months.
It will also require persons to state if they were ever denied certificate of good conduct or a visa by any country.