NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 1 – The court is set to determine if elected leaders named in the graft list should step aside to pave way for investigations after two activists filed a petition.
Activists Okiya Omtatah and Nyakina Gisebe want the court to rule if Governors, Members of Parliament and Senators whose names are in the graft list tabled in Parliament should step aside.
The two activists are convinced that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive for implicated leaders to step aside also affects elected leaders and not just those appointed.
“The Petitioners support the President’s directive that all public officials under investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, irrespective of whether they are appointed or elected, must step aside to facilitate independent investigations,” they explained in the petition filed at the Milimani High Court.
Omtata told Capital FM News that the petition will be heard on Tuesday. He said only the court can settle the heated controversy between the president and elected leaders.
The two petitioners argued that the president under the Constitution has powers to order corrupt leaders to step aside for as long as they are under investigation by EACC.
They opined that the President has the authority to direct them to step aside whether they are appointed or elected.
In support of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s pronouncements on the war on corruption, the two activists emphasised that people mentioned should heed the call of stepping aside.
In their view, failing to step aside is not only unconstitutional but also a disservice to the efforts of battling corruption which has been Kenya’s plague that has ailed the country since time immemorial. So far, more than twenty leaders including Cabinet Secretaries have stepped aside temporarily to enable EACC finalise investigations on allegations facing them.
Governors, Senators and MPs in the graft list however, insist that they will not quit office, without others reading malice in the whole probe on corruption.