, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 25 – Justice Aaron Ringera’s supervisors say the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission Director should not earn more than Sh2 million per month.
The newly installed Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission Advisory Board headed by Law Society of Kenya Okongo Omogeni plans to cut Justice Ringera’s pay by 35 percent. Mr Omogeni said on Thursday that his predecessors had worked on the figure that translates to about Sh1.7 million shillings down from the current Sh2.5 million.
Mr Omogeni told Capital News that the current salaries are unacceptable and he would be lobbying other members for the reduction.
“We would like to remunerate our officers competitively but we also have to be conscious that we offer salaries that are sustainable by the Kenyan economy,” Mr Omogeni said.
The salaries of Justice Ringera’s four assistants will also be slashed by the same margin putting them at Sh1.1 million down from Sh1.7 million.
Justice Ringera’s term and those of two of his assistants expire in September after which the board will have the prerogative of deciding whether to extend their terms or recruit fresh blood.
“We will be having a board meeting in August and that will certainly be top on our agenda. I want to assure that there is no crisis. The Director will continue in office as either we wait to recommend for his reappointment or look for a new one,” the new Chairman said.
The Directors’ perks have attracted public outcry with many calling for their reduction. The Commission has come under heavy criticism for failing to convincingly reduce graft in its five years’ operation. However Mr Omogeni came to its defence saying that it had performed well considering its staff capacity and legal mandate.
The new chairman said he would be pushing for the employment of more professionals at the Commission to increase its capacity. He said the current 270 members are inadequate to fully serve the commission.
“This will enable us to receive complaints, sieve them as soon as possible and make recommendations to the Attorney General,” he said.
Mr Omogeni also hopes that the commission will be entrenched as a constitutional office during the constitutional review to further give it a higher mandate. The graft body hopes to complete its new office block that would provide more space.
On prosecutorial powers Mr Omogeni said that the board would be seeking audience with the Attorney General for a compromise to give the commission some powers to prosecute.
“We can arrive at an arrangement that allows him to exercise his constitutional powers of prosecution. But we could have an arrangement where the AG gazettes some officers from KACC who can take cases directly to court then he can retain the powers of entering nolle prosequi in the event KACC abuses those powers,” he said.