NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 27 – Mutula Kilonzo left the Justice Ministry on Tuesday morning with a jibe at his successor Eugene Wamalwa, saying he expects him to have an easy ride in the otherwise tough docket because the newcomer is a member of the G7 Alliance which appeared to front his ouster from the docket.
Kilonzo who spoke during a short handover ceremony at the ministry’s offices however told Wamalwa that he was bound to make a number of enemies particularly in dealing with the fight against corruption and matters of integrity.
He handed over a copy of the Constitution of Kenya to the incoming minister and outlined the various issues that the ministry was dealing with in regard to the implementation of the Constitution.
“They will threaten you; harass you and intimidate you but implement this document (Constitution)… it’s the future. Do not accept the harassment, the political mandarins and the gods of tribalism. Be firm, at least you are lucky that you belong to the G7 alliance, maybe you will have a smooth ride,” he said amid laughter.
Wamalwa assured that he was equal to the task ahead of him, vowing to be guided by adherence to the law in the discharge of his mandate.
“We know that Mutula has incisive knowledge of the law and he walks out of this ministry with his head held high, but I also walk in well knowing the immense responsibility that this office places on my shoulders,” said the Saboti MP.
“Where Mutula has left, we will pick up and we will move forward without hesitation, without fear or favour; as a lawyer and lawmaker, my fidelity is to the law and we will do our best to discharge our mandate,” added Wamalwa before he headed for a consultative meeting at the office of the president.
Wamalwa said that he intends to immediately address the issue of appointments of the chairman and commissioners of the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) besides other matters relating to the implementation of the Constitution.
“When as a country we are undergoing great reforms there are challenges facing us; we do have the issue of the EACC which we must give our all to get the process back on track. The fight against corruption is a fight we cannot afford to falter or give up on,” he emphasised.
The other issues that Wamalwa is expected to oversee in his tenure are the appointment of a new Registrar of Political Parties as required by the Political Parties Act as well as the passage of a law on integrity by August.
He will also be expected to reconsider the re-introduction of the Constitutional Amendment Bill that seeks to amend the election date from August to December.
Other Bills that ought to be fine-tuned and passed are the Campaigns Financing Bill and the Participation of the people Bill.
Crucial to Wamalwa’s tenure will also be the implementation of the recommendations of the report by the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission expected to be complete in early May as well as working with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to deliver free and fair elections.
In his tenure at the Justice Ministry (two years and 10 months) Kilonzo made enemies for his public stance including his recent troubles for his stand on the fate of politicians facing charges for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.
He however escaped a planned censure Motion. The move was to be sponsored by allies of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto following insistence by Kilonzo that the two should forfeit their presidential ambitions until they are cleared of crimes against humanity by the ICC, but the Motion was dropped at the eleventh hour.