NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 22- The three nominees proposed to the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) will now be subjected to a new vote in Parliament.
House Speaker Kenneth Marende made the ruling on Wednesday evening after MPs raised concerns over a vote cast by Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim on the fate of the three before resolving a tie on the vote.
He however noted that the outcome of the overall vote cast by the legislators simply rejected the report by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, seeking to shoot down the three names, but had no bearing whatsoever on their fate.
He further urged the Leader of Government Business to make fresh preparations for the new vote which would determine whether or not Mumo Matemu was appointed as EACC Chairperson alongside Jane Onsongo and Irene Keino.
“It is important that the government moves expeditiously to move a motion for the approval of the nominees of the anti corruption commission so as to enable the House to make its decision such that the Executive may be appropriately advised by the Speaker,” he said.
He also absolved the deputy speaker from any blame for participating in the vote noting that Standing Order 64 allows a Speaker, in the Chair, to cast a ballot.
Marende also assured the legislators that the three names would not be forwarded to the President and Prime Minister for appointment before the issue is resolved.
He explained that their fate would be determined by the new vote which will be cast when the House breaks from recess.
“The names of the nominees still remain before the House. Approval as contemplated by the Constitution and statutes is an affirmative and unequivocal approval by the House,” he argued.
Fifty MPs, including Maalim, voted against the report by the Legal Affairs Committee effectively indicating that they were in favour of the anti graft nominees while 49 others supported it.
Three Cabinet Ministers were among those who supported the report by the Legal Affairs Committee.
Nominated MP Millie Odhiambo, who was also among those in support of the report, took issue with the fact that Matemu was endorsed by the principals even though he was not the overall best candidate.
“If the Principals want to be serious, and jump number one and go to number four (ranked candidate) there must be a constitutional reason to do so. Otherwise I will ask Okong’o Omogeni to go to Court and challenge this appointment,” she argued.
Concerns surrounding Matemu’s nomination emerged after Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale tabled documents indicating that he had credibility issues while serving at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
The Legal Affairs Committee had on the other hand rejected their appointment of the three names saying that they lacked the passion and initiative to spearhead graft.
The report also urged the Executive to submit fresh names for the EACC accused the principals for failing to justify reasons why they picked the three.