NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 3 – State House on Tuesday commenced the process of replacing Commissioners at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission who resigned in within the last three months.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Chief of Staff and Head of the Public Service Joseph Kinyua has written to institutions required under law to comprise the selection panel asking them to forward names of the nominees.
The Office of the President, the Office of the Attorney General, the Public Service Commission, the Judicial Service Commission, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the National Gender and Equality Commission, the Media Council of Kenya, the Association of Professional Studies of East Africa and a joint forum of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, the Kenya Episcopal Conference, the National Council of the Churches of Kenya, the Evangelical Fellowship of Kenya and the Hindu Council of Kenya are expected to nominate one member each to the selection panel by close of business Saturday.
Under the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act of 2011, the selection panel shall within seven days of convening, advertise for applications and on short listing of the candidates, hold interviews in public.
They are thereafter required by the Act to forward three names for the position of Chairman and four for the membership positions to the President who has 14 days to submit his selection for chair and two members to the National Assembly for approval.
The National Assembly then has 21 days, “of the day it next sits,” to either accept or reject the President’s nominees.
In order to qualify for the position of Chairman, one must be a degree holder, have at least 15 years work experience and not hold any political party post, be bankrupt or a convict.
A commissioner on the other hand only requires 10 years work experience in addition to meeting the integrity requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution.
Mumo Matemu, the former EACC Chairman, and his Deputy Irene Keino stepped down after President Uhuru Kenyatta formed a tribunal in April to investigate accusations of incompetence and abuse of office levelled against them.
Jane Onsongo was the first of the three commissioners to resign in March after President Uhuru Kenyatta gave the Commission 60 days to conclude its open investigations into those in the Public Service.
At the time Keino also claimed to have turned down an ambassadorial post meant to lure her into leaving the commission.
The High Court is in the process of determining a petition that wants any and all prosecutorial recommendations made by the EACC following the resignation of all its commissioners declared null and void on the grounds that Section 4 of the EACC Act, 2011 states: “The Commission shall consist of a chairperson and two other members appointed in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and this Act.”