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Anti graft agency nominees sail through at last

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 10 – Parliament on Thursday unanimously approved the nomination of Mumo Matemu, Jane Onsongo and Irene Keino to head the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

The nominees will now await President Mwai Kibaki’s formal appointment before they take up their posts at the anti-graft commission.

The names were reintroduced to Parliament on Thursday after an earlier standoff occasioned by the nominees’ rejection by the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs in December.

At the time, the committee presented a report to the House saying the three lacked the “passion” to fight graft.

However, the committee’s report was rejected by Parliament, throwing the nomination in limbo.

House Speaker Kenneth Marende then ruled that the three nominees would 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.

Mumo Matemu is a former commissioner with the Kenya Revenue Authority, Prof Jane Kerubo Onsongo a lecturer at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, and Irene Cheptoo Keino an estate manager with the National Cereals and Produce Board.

During Thursday’s debate, Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale and Bonchari’s Charles Onyancha attempted to amend the Motion and omit Matemu’s name pending clearance over accusations stemming back to his days at the revenue authority.

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However the attempt was opposed by Deputy Leader of Government Business in Parliament Amos Kimunya who accused Khalwale of misleading the House of the accusations.


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