, NAIROBI, Kenya, October 25 – Gichugu Member of Parliament Martha Karua says the President and Prime Minister should take advantage of provisions of the new Constitution to purge corrupt individuals from the Cabinet.
She said on Monday that the new law allows only individuals of integrity to occupy public office and that anyone implicated in corruption should vacate office.
"Even if they have been sworn in, it is the responsibility of the President and the Prime Minister to ensure that no one sits in the Cabinet in contravention of the provisions of the new Constitution," she said. "I know there are people who are sitting there and yet they are corrupt. They have to be removed and it is the work of the two coalition principals."
Speaking on the sidelines of a media briefing on the upcoming African Fashion and Arts festival, Ms Karua stated that both President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga should look into the background of each Minister and take appropriate action and sack those found to be corrupt.
"The new Constitution gives the President and Prime Minister the powers to scrutinise every Minister sworn in when the new law came into effect to ensure that they are clean," she said.
"I would like to advise them that right now they have the power to look into the Cabinet, and ensure that there is no corrupt individual."
Higher Education Minister William Ruto has been suspended over a pending fraud case while Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula is currently facing censure in Parliament over the controversial purchase of Kenya\’s embassy property in Tokyo, Japan.
President Kibaki suspended Mr Ruto, after a court ruled that he must stand trial over corruption allegations despite his plea that he would not get a fair trial.
He is charged with defrauding a State corporation of Sh96 million nine years ago over the sale of forest land.
Mr Wetangula\’s case on the other hand follows a report highlighting gross irregularities in the purchase of the piece of land in Tokyo whose price was allegedly inflated.
Meanwhile, Ms Karua emphasised the need for lawyers countrywide to vote in credible individuals during the ongoing election of representatives to the Judicial Service Commission.
She said doing this would be a key step in ensuring reforms take place in the country.
The elections conducted by the Interim Independent electoral Commission (IIEC) were carried out in 17 polling stations at law courts across the country.
"Let them vote in leaders of integrity. It is only by doing so that we can support the renewal of our key institutions and in this case namely the Judiciary. We need serious committed people in the Judicial Service Commission. Over to you learned colleagues. Give us those people," she quipped.
Former LSK Chairman Ahmednassir Abdullahi and Chacha Odera are the top contenders for the male representative out of the 34 candidates, while Florence Mwangangi and Lucy Kambuni are notables for the women\’s slot.