, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 26 – The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution says the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Secretariat cannot transmit graft files to the Director of Public Prosecutions for action.
In a letter addressed to the Attorney General, CIC Chairman Charles Nyachae says transmission of files can only be done by new commissioners or once suspended EACC Chairman Mumo Matemu and Vice Chair Irene Keino are reinstated.
“We believe that whereas the technical work of the Commission can continue to be carried out by the Secretariat, no formal decision of the commission including the transmission of recommendations of the commission to the Director of Public Prosecutions can be legally effected by the commission in the absence of the Commissioners,” read part of the letter.
While highlighting Section 11 of the EACC Act which outlines the role of the Commission, Nyachae said with the resignation of Jane Onsongo and the subsequent suspension of Matemu and Keino the Commission was limited in its function ability.
Nyachae went on to urge the Attorney General to advise the EACC Secretariat not to overstep its mandate and replace the Commission in decision making as this would attract law suits hence compromising the fight against corruption.
“It is important that no actions are taken by the Secretariat of the Commission purporting to act as the commission as the same will be subject to judicial challenge,” said Nyachae.
The CIC chairman urged the four-member tribunal appointed by the President to probe the conduct of Keino and Matemu to commence and complete its probe as soon as possible to ensure the fight against corruption is not halted.
The tribunal is to be chaired by Justice (Rtd) Jonathan Bowen Havelock, and comprises three other members namely; Margaret Shava, Muathe M. Issa and Juster Nkoroi.
The President will act on the recommendations within 30 days of the handover of the report.
While addressing journalists following the suspension of his colleagues last week, EACC CEO Halakhe Waqo said it was business as usual at the institution further revealing that the commission has continued to forward files on the completed investigations to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keriako Tobiko.
“Let me assure Kenyans that the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission has not been disbanded as many people have been misled to believe. Suspension of a commissioner or commissioners in any constitutional commission is envisaged under the provisions of the law,” he stated.
“As an institution established by law, the commission has perpetual succession irrespective of the holders of the office.”
The EACC Chairman and Vice Chairperson were suspended after Parliament approved a petition that sought their removal over allegations of incompetence and abuse of office.