, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 17 – Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo says Uhuru Kenyatta, Francis Muthaura and Maj Gen (Rtd) Hussein Ali should relinquish their government positions should the International Criminal Court (ICC) send them to trial over the 2008 post election violence.
Kilonzo told Capital News that a combination of Chapter Six of the Constitution and the Public Officers Ethics Act required that such officers resign from public office until they were cleared of any wrong doing.
While citing Articles 10 and 75, he added that the Constitution placed a high credibility threshold on all public and State officers regardless of their social or economic standing.
Kenyatta, Muthaura and Ali are State officers who are among six Kenyans under probe at the war crimes’ court.
“As far as I’m concerned this is a non-issue. The people who should be anxious are the ones who are guilty because as they say the guilty are afraid. If you are innocent, you must remember that you are protected by the Constitution,” he said.
“The only thing is if you hold public office you must step down if the charges are confirmed,” he added.
Kilonzo further explained that Chapter Six of the Constitution bars those with pending court cases from vying for public office. He noted that the provisions under Chapter Six only cleared persons of high integrity for both State and public offices.
He added that the crimes facing the six Kenyans bore significant weight and it would not be easy to dismiss them.
Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto have already declared their interests in the presidency in the next elections.
“This is not about theft or cutting Mutula’s trees or stealing his paintings; it is not a traffic offense! I mean if these charges are confirmed it will mean that they (suspects) are indicted on a charge of international crime against humanity,” he argued.
Meanwhile, Kilonzo said he would seek amendments to the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) Act arguing that the current version was too watered down to facilitate the country’s war on graft.
He maintained that the current EACC Act was defective as it lacked provisions guiding the transition period between the now defunct Kenya Anti Corruption Commission and the EACC.
While accusing MPs of mutilating the Act, Kilonzo noted that the current version took away the EACC’s ability to prosecute graft. He also accused MPs of victimising the three candidates, who had been nominated for positions at the EACC arguing that the faulty law was to blame.
“The law on the fight against corruption is inadequate, flawed and incomplete. Parliament is merely practicing what we call deference such that since you are a thief when you see Mutula you think he behaves like you do and he is also a thief,” he retorted.
He also asked MPs to confirm the appointment of Mumo Matemu, Jane Onsongo and Irene Keino before the EACC law could be revised.
“Parliamentarians demolished our anti corruption proposals. Why didn’t Parliament tell Matemu that if he wants to become a commissioner in EACC he must be passionate? At least then we would have been able to define passion,” he argued.