NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 14- The parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee has rejected all the three nominees proposed for appointment into the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission and wants the Executive to submit fresh names.,
Through a report signed by committee vice-chairman Njoroge Baiya (Githunguri) the committee argued that Mumo Matemu (nominated for position of chairperson), Jane Onsongo (member) and Irene Cheptoo Keino (member) lacked the passion and drive to spearhead the war on graft.
The three appeared before the departmental committee on Wednesday morning where they were grilled for their suitability before the report was submitted.
The 11-member committee argued that although the three had outstanding academic competences, they did not have the “requisite initiative” to lead the anti corruption watchdog.
“The nominees did not demonstrate sufficient interest in the fight against corruption,” read the report in part.
The legislators also accused the Executive of failing to include details on the criteria used to nominate the three saying that future nominations should be accompanied by detailed reports outlining the standards used.
They urged the House to reject the nominees saying those appointed into the commission should not only have experience but also passion.
“All the nominees had excellent careers with excellent academic qualifications but lacked the passion to head the Anti Corruption Commission. Their qualifications could be relevant at other levels,” noted the report.
When the President and Prime Minister named their preferred nominees, a legal technicality emerged. The two were accused of failing to submit the names within 14 days of their receipt before the approval of Parliament.
The anti corruption commission selection panel had forwarded the names of Okong’o Omogeni, Matemu and Sarah Kilemi, who were the top three candidates, for their suitability as chairperson of the ethics body while at the same time recommending Onsongo, Polycarp Ochillo, Robert Shaw and Keino as members.
Meanwhile, Members of Parliament have adopted nominees of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission for appointment.
They however amended the Motion to include COTU’s (Central Organisation of Trade Unions) Isaiah Kubai, whose name had been rejected by the parliamentary committee on Finance, Planning and Trade.
“I support Kubai’s nomination because COTU is the umbrella body for workers here so we have to have them in the commission,” argued nominated MP Millie Odhiambo.
Some trade unions had raised the red flag over Kubai’s nomination saying they had not been consulted. MPs however discounted the argument saying COTU carried a bigger role in representing trade unions.
Sarah Serem has been approved as chairperson alongside Peter Oloo Aringo (Parliamentary Service Commission nominee), Daniel Ogutu (Public Service Commission nominee), Celestine Kiuluku (Judicial Service Commission nominee), Sarah Kinya (Teachers Service Commission nominee), Samuel Kirubi (Defence Council nominee) and the Senate’s nominee Jason Namasake.
Others are Jacqueline Mugo (Federation of Kenya Employers) and Anne Owuor (Association of Professional Societies of East Africa).