, NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 21 – Two Members of Parliament are questioning the intentions of a letter written by the Prime Minister Raila Odinga withdrawing his support for the three nominees to the Ethics and Anti corruption Commission (EACC).
Mukuruweini MP Kabando wa Kabando and his nominated counterpart George Nyamweya told journalists that the decision by the prime minister to write to a letter withdrawing support for the names without consulting the president was in bad faith.
“Given the magnitude of the issue, either a Cabinet decision should have been communicated to the Leader of Government Business so that he then communicates the same to the House and not for any of the two principals to take positions on the matter,” said Kabando.
“We do not expect to see this again become an issue between the president and the prime minister where one of them is looking like he is out to score points on the other,” added Nyamweya.
Kabando said the PM should have followed the ruling by the Speaker last year that asked the Executive to bring a fresh Motion before the House for the adoption of the names adding that any withdrawal of support for the nominees must be done by both principals.
Odinga has written to the acting Head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia seeking to have the names of Mumo Matemu, Jane Onsongo and Irene Keino withdrawn from the House.
The two legislators argued the list was at the moment the property of the House and the PM or any member of the Executive had no business tampering with it.
But despite the stand, the MPs have asked the government to consider withdrawing the names altogether as they will not be approved by the House.
“We will be networking and lobbying further for the names to be totally rejected having been subject to political manipulations, undercover operations and political party partisan positions,” reiterated Kabando.
Last December, House Speaker Kenneth Marende ruled that MPs did not approve the names of Matemu for EACC chairperson alongside Onsongo and Keino after Parliament failed to adopt a report of the Legal Affairs Committee recommending the rejection of the names.
Marende ruled that the three nominees proposed to the anti graft agency will have to be subjected to a new vote in Parliament.
The Speaker made the ruling after MPs raised concerns over a ballot cast by Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim resolving a tie on the vote.
“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,” said Marende in December.
Fifty MPs, including Maalim voted against the report by the Legal Affairs Committee that wanted the names rejected. Forty nine MPs supported the report.
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 rejected the appointment of the three nominees saying that they lacked the passion and initiative to spearhead the fight against graft.
The House ought to have decided the fate of the three within 21 days of the receiving their names.