, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 5 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has rejected an amendment to the EACC Act in which Members of Parliament wanted the commission’s secretary Halakhe Waqo and his deputy Michael Mubea sacked.
Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso told the MPs that the President had written to the House expressing his reservations to the amendment which was proposed by National Assembly Deputy Minority Whip Chris Wamalwa.
“His Excellency the President, by way of memorandum has since referred the Bill back to the National Assembly for reconsideration. The President has expressed reservations on Clauses 4 and 6 of the Bill. Consequently the President recommends amendments to the two clauses,” Laboso said.
The National Assembly has 21 days to dispense with the matter. The House will be required to marshal two-thirds majority of MPs to override President Kenyatta’s veto.
The National Assembly last month passed amendments to the EACC Act providing for the vacation from office by the EACC secretary and deputy and recruitment of EACC Commissioners to be directly done by the Public Service Commission among other proposals.
MPs voted 70-39 in support of the amendment proposed by Wamalwa which sought to have the two offices become vacant upon enactment of the law.
Wamalwa had however said Waqo and Mubea would not be required to leave office immediately but would continue serving in acting capacity pending the appointment of substantive office holders.
Currently, the EACC Act provides that where a vacancy arises in the membership of the commission the President will have 21 days to constitute a selection panel for purposes of filling a vacancy.
The panel shall then shortlist three qualified applicants for each vacancy and forward the names to the President for appointment who will then send them to the National Assembly for vetting.
Mumo Matemu and Irene Keino resigned as chairperson and vice-chairperson of the EACC in April while Jane Onsongo resigned in March.
President Kenyatta last month constituted a nine-member panel to commence the replacement of EACC Commissioners who stepped down from office over allegations of gross misconduct.