Reforms: Kenya AG fights back

September 28, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 28 – Attorney General Amos Wako has told off his critics and maintains that he is committed to reforms in Kenya.

Mr Wako said on Monday that his track record spoke for itself, insisting that his actions had not hindered reforms in any way. The AG further told journalists that he had not received a letter from American Under-Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson warning him about a possible US travel ban over stalled reforms.

There has been media speculation that the Attorney General is among 15 senior government personalities who have received the warning letters.

"I am the reformist Attorney General as any objective observer will see. If the letter from the American government comes, I will reply to it and then I will let you people know about it," he stated.

But Mr Wako was also quick to criticise the letters, saying they were out of step with normal diplomacy. President Mwai Kibaki has already dispatched a protest letter to US President Barack Obama over the issue.

"The Attorney General will always support the President all the time."

Regarding the controversial appointment of Justice Aaron Ringera as Director of the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC), the AG said it was up to Parliament to decide the next step it wished to take after the KACC chief snubbed a protest vote on his new tenure.

"Parliament can do many things; it can refuse a vote on KACC, it can amend the Act or even repeal (the commission)," he stated but added: "it should be within their legislative functions."

Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale last week withdrew a case challenging the re-appointment of the anti-graft czar to the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission helm.

Dr Khalwale, who also chairs the Parliamentary Accounts Committee, had said that he was incensed by a move to use the court case as an excuse to have Justice Ringera and his deputy Fatuma Sichale remain in office.

He had further warned that if Justice Ringera didn’t gracefully resign from office, legislators would lobby for Parliament to resume sittings in a bid to cut funding to the KACC.

His sentiments were echoed by Yatta Member of Parliament Charles Kilonzo who warned that if the KACC director did not quit, "there would be dire consequences."

Mr Kilonzo was reacting to reports that Justice Ringera had refused to authorise spending for advertisements by the KACC Advisory Board, seeking fresh applications for his position.


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