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Civil society up in arms over Integrity Bill

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 12 – A section of the civil society has threatened to go to court if Parliament approves the Leadership and Integrity Bill as was presented by the government.

They say the Cabinet removed key sections of the Bill that would have ensured that Kenyans get proper leaders especially after the next elections.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, the National Civil Society Congress Coordinator Suba Churchill called on Parliament not to pass the Bill.

“There are no mechanisms in that Bill for ensuring that those who will be nominated and cleared to run for elective positions are properly vetted; that they are asked some of the most ‘embarrassing’ questions that we saw even our own Chief Justice being asked, “ protested Churchill.

Some of the provisions deleted by the Cabinet include Declaration of Assets, Income and Liability of State officers and Certificate of Compliance with Chapter Six of the Constitution, for persons seeking election or appointment to State office.

The President of the Congress Morris Odhiambo has also called on the government to allow full citizen contribution to such key Bills to avoid manipulation.

“Leadership and Integrity; that is what the 2013 general elections is all about across the board; from the presidency right down to the ward representative. And even when we come to establishing even the village councils, it must be leadership with integrity, “said Odhiambo.

They also feel that there is a deliberate plan by politicians to interfere with the Constitutional Commissions especially the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC).

They added that the more there is interference in these and other key commissions, the less they will be able to accomplish their given mandate.

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“The Constitutional commissions mandated with the big responsibility of implementing reforms must awaken to the reality of new dispensation and therefore begin to shrug off the shackles of fatigue and unnecessary frustrations, “said Ochieng Khairalla,Executive Director for Citizen Coalition for Constitution Culture (4Cs-Trust).


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