NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24 – Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission Chief Executive Officer Halakhe Waqo says the capacity of the commission to deal with graft cases is still intact despite the suspension of the chairperson and the vice-chairperson.
He says the powers of the institution are well outlined in the Constitution and are not in individuals.
Addressing journalists at the Integrity Centre, Waqo assured the country that no graft case will stall specifically the ongoing investigations on individuals named in the EACC list of shame.
“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.”
He stated the commission still restricts itself to the 60-day period given by President Uhuru Kenyatta and can only adjust timelines if need arise.
“I wish to reiterate that there are 392 members of staff including experts such as investigators, lawyers and forensic experts in the commission who are fully engaged in the technical operations in line with the mandate of the commission,” he pointed out.
Waqo also revealed that the commission has continued to forward files on the completed investigations to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keriako Tobiko.
On Thursday, President Uhuru Kenyatta suspended EACC chairman Mumo Matemu and his vice Irene Keino and formed a tribunal to probe on issues of incompetence and abuse of office.
The Head of State appointed Justice (Rtd) Jonathan Bowen Havelock to chair a four-member tribunal to probe the conduct of suspended chairman Mumo Matemu and vice-chairperson Irene Keino.
Members of the tribunal which should investigate the matter expeditiously are Margaret Shava, Muathe M. Issa and Juster Nkoroi.
Once the tribunal completes its report, the President shall act on the recommendations within 30 days.
The tribunal is to investigate the suitability of the two to head the EACC after Parliament approved a petition that sought their removal over allegations of incompetence and abuse of office.
A Gazette Notice released by the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit (PSCU) says the four-member tribunal is mandated to investigate the alleged conduct of the two members of the EACC ‘determine the removal from office or otherwise of Matemu and Keino and report on the facts and make its recommendations thereon expeditiously.’
“The Tribunal shall have all the powers necessary for the proper execution of its mandate including the powers to determine the time and venue for its meetings and regulate its own procedure,” read the Gazette Notice.
READ: Uhuru appoints tribunal to probe Matemu, Keino