NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – As political parties grapple to put their houses in order ahead of the major face-off in the August General Election, the demand for adherence to electoral laws is mounting.
On Wednesday, government agencies converged in Nairobi at a meeting that resolved to team up with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to implement one of the crucial laws that require aspirants to pass the leadership and integrity test as stipulated in the Chapter Six of the 2010 Constitution.
Coined as the ‘Chapter Six Working Group on Election Preparedness’, the government agencies agreed to work together to demand that candidates nominated to participate in the elections meet requirements of the Act.
“The collaborating institutions will enforce compliance with the leadership and integrity requirements by aspirants in the forthcoming General Election,” IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said when he read the joint communiqué of the agencies.
With the IEBC acting as the central coordinating agency, the group will open service centres across the country to verify and clear aspirants and candidates vying for elective posts across the board.
“The collaborating institutions hereby undertake that in order to support the objectives of this collaboration, they shall make available dedicated service centres on a full time basis with adequate resources to support the electoral verification and clearance process and shall endeavour to decentralise their services where possible,” Chebukati stated.
The agencies include the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC), Office of Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP), the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) and the Attorney General’s office.
According to Attorney General Githu Muigai, the verification process of adherence to the Leadership and Integrity Act has a guideline that will be used to determine if aspirants qualify to run for public offices.
“And as the Ministry of Education and the Commission for Higher Education has demonstrated recently, we have among us persons carrying around certificates they have not earned. Therefore, one of the major areas of our concern in this integrity testing would be a basic one. ‘Do you hold the educational qualifications that you claim to hold’,” he explained.
As encapsulated in Chapter Six of the Leadership and Integrity Act, it is predicated that State officers should exhibit highest level of responsibility in the administration of public affairs tasking them to have conduct that his beyond reproach.
Chebukati urged political parties – in their nomination processes to ensure that candidates elected conform to the demands laid on Chapter Six.
He announced that the regulations will be published on local dailies on Thursday though they are readily available on the commission’s website.
He once again held that the commission was within its timelines and was preparing to make an announcement on Tuesday on the ‘alternative’ measure that it will adopt to procure the integrated electronic technology after the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority halted sourcing of the system in February.
However, he said the system will be ready before April 10 in readiness for the voter verification process that will kick off on May 10.