, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 14 – Civil society organisations have petitioned Parliament to amend and strengthen the Leadership and Integrity Bill before it is passed.
Transparency International, FIDA and Community Aid International say that the Cabinet watered down the Bill thereby undermining the wishes of Kenyans.
Transparency International Executive Director Samuel Kimeu who spoke on behalf of the organisations called on Parliament to reinstate provisions proposed by the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC).
“It is only through a vetting process that you can comply with Article 80 of the Constitution on personal integrity and suitability; the Bill by Cabinet negates the input of the public and it is not an accurate reflection of the demands of the public,” he said adding that the law, if passed in its current form, was subject to many court challenges.
Article 80 on the Leadership and Integrity Chapter provides that: “Parliament shall enact legislation establishing procedures and mechanisms for the effective administration of this Chapter; prescribing the penalties, in addition to the penalties referred to in Article 75 that may be imposed for a contravention of this Chapter.”
Kimeu argued that the original draft provided that individuals seeking to become State officers declare their income assets and liabilities that will also undergo a periodic review.
The organisations insisted that State officers must not participate in any other gainful employment either actively or inactively as proposed by the Cabinet.
Other provisions that the groups want reinstated is the protection of the Independence of the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) and safeguarding whistleblowers.
“The Cabinet Bill fails to afford persons working within the government protection measures in the event that they inform, report or collaborate with authorities on activities breaching Chapter Six committed by other state officers,” Kimeu insisted.
He said that they also want Parliament to outline disciplinary procedures for State officers breaching provisions of Chapter Six saying that: “The whole purpose of the Bill will be lost if the provision is removed.”
Similar concerns on the Bill have been raised by the CIC and Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth who has declared his intentions to vie for the presidency.
In adverts placed in newspapers last week, the CIC termed the Bill in its current form as ‘ineffective in implementing Chapter Six of the Constitution, and containing clauses that are unconstitutional.’