NAIROBI, Kenya, April 28 – Attorney General Githu Muigai has discounted claims by the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) that the current composition of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) does not allow it to function fully and legally.
CIC held that whereas the technical work of the commission can be carried out by the secretariat, no formal decision of the commission, including the transmission of recommendations to the Director of Public Prosecutions can be done in the absence of the commissioners.
Speaking to journalists during a conference on international crime on Tuesday, Muigai affirmed that EACC is a fully functional institution which is made up of several individuals who are at present even delivering files to the DPP for action.
“EACC is a body corporate. It is not made up of one commissioner or two or even three. It is made-up of several individuals who work there. There are an excess of 50 lawyers for example. There is a Chief Executive Officer. The commission is in office, it is functioning and delivering files to the DPP. The DPP is receiving files and taking them to court,” he stated.
The AG further pointed out that the absence of commissioners does not mean that there is a gap at the EACC and stated that the anti graft body’s functions have not be disrupted.
“There is absolutely no lacuna, there is no gap, and there is no void. When the tribunal has made its determination, none of us can tell what the outcome will be. Then a decision will be made by the appointing authority at that point. As late as yesterday, I was receiving requests for legal advice to them on some technical issues they are working on and I am writing back to them in the normal way,” he said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta suspended EACC chairman Mumo Matemu and vice-chairperson Irene Keino following a petition presented to the National Assembly. Commissioner Jane Onsongo resigned from the body due to in-fighting.
A four-member tribunal chaired by Justice (rtd) Jonathan Bowen Havelock has also been formed to investigate Matemu and Keino’s conduct.
Other members of the tribunal are former commissioner with the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission Margaret Shava, Issa Mansur Muathe and Juster Nkoroi.
EACC chief executive Halakhe Waqo had said that it was business as usual at the institution further revealing that the commission has continued to forward files on the completed investigations to DPP Keriako Tobiko.
He assured that the EACC has not been disbanded as many people have been misled to believe and that the suspension of a commissioner or commissioners in any constitutional commission is envisaged under the provisions of the law.
He explained that as an institution established by law, the commission has perpetual succession irrespective of the holders of the office.”