NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13 – Attorney General Githu Muigai says the tribunal formed to investigate top Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) bosses no longer exists after they resigned.
The AG has told Capital News that the tribunal has ceased to exist after EACC Chairman Mumo Matemu and Vice Chairperson Irene Keino announced their resignation.
“The tribunal will no longer be necessary as there will be nothing to investigate – the subject matter has reigned,” said the AG.
Matemu threw in the towel on Tuesday evening barely a week after vice Chairperson Irene Keino tendered her resignation citing external pressure, while a third commissioner Jane Onsongo quit in unclear circumstances late March days before the tribunal was formed stating that the commission was incapable of fighting the numerous mega corruption cases in the country.
President Kenyatta had formed a tribunal chaired by retired judge Jonathan Havelock to investigate their suitability to head the institution following a recommendation by the National Assembly.
Other members of the tribunal were Margaret Shava, Muathe Issa and Juster Nkoroi and were to deliver their decision within 60 days of their swearing in.
The AG however declined to comment on whether the tribunal members will receive any payments following their appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta on April 23.
Matemu in his resignation letter said he stepped aside for the sake of the fight against corruption.
“I have taken this considered decision solely for the purpose of subordinating my personal rights and interests to the greater public good in the fight against corruption,” he said.
The resignation of all the three EACC commissioners puts the fight against corruption in jeopardy as the EACC Act reserves certain responsibilities for the commissioners and their subsequent resignation leaves a void in the Commission’s mandate.
The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution had initially warned the EACC Secretariat against transmitting files to the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko as the Commissioners were the signatories to the documents; however the AG discounted CICs concerns saying the corruption watchdog could ably function in the absence of the commissioners.
The fate of EACC now lies with the appointing authority that is the Presidency which is expected to now nominate suitable candidates to the vacant positions; the candidates will be vetted by Parliament and eventually successful ones appointed.