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MPs reject Chumo as SRC chairman nominee over integrity issues

The vetting of Chumo drew a lot of attention because of the graft charges he is facing alongside other top officials at Kenya Power/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 25 – The nominee for the position of the Salaries and Remunerations Commission (SRC) chairman Ben Chumo has been rejected by the National Assembly Parliamentary Finance Committee over integrity issues.

In its report, the Committee stated that Chumo is facing weighty issues which cannot be ignored.

“The Committee also noted that the nominee did not meet the requirements of Chapter six of the Constitution and the Leadership and Integrity Act by the fact that he was on 16th July 2018 charged in the Anti-Corruption Court, in case Acc No. 26/18 (R vs Ben Chumo & 14 others),” the report indicated.

The Committee further noted that the nominee being a public officer and having been charged for corruption or economic crimes had neither relinquished nor stepped aside from his position as Chairperson of the Egerton University Council.

“Further, the Committee considered how the provisions of Section 62 of the Anticorruption and Economic Crimes Act would affect the nominee, as it requires that a public officer who has been charged with corruption or economic crimes should be suspended. Therefore, the nominee if approved, would find it difficult to take up the position,” it stated.

The vetting of Chumo drew a lot of attention because of the graft charges he is facing alongside other top officials at Kenya Power.

“Based on the above issues, the Committee is of the view that the nominee is unsuitable to be appointed as the chairperson of the SRC.”

Speaking during his approval hearing before the National Assembly Finance and Planning Committee, Chumo said he is innocent of all charges levelled against him and pleaded with the MPs to endorse him.

But governance experts have warned that endorsing Chumo for the job will erode public confidence in the war against corruption and is against integrity provisions outlined in Chapter Six of the constitution.

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President Uhuru Kenyatta had appointed Chumo to take over from Sarah Serem whose tenure ended last year.

The former Kenya Power and Lighting Company Managing Director is facing charges of economic crimes.

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