Rights Commission, activists in court over Chapter Six implementation

July 17, 2018 10:50 am
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The application which was lodged by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) ahead of the August 8 General Elections had stalled in court following objections over the court’s jurisdiction on the matter/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 17 – The hearing of an application on the implementation of Chapter Six of the Constitution is set to continue at the Supreme Court on Tuesday with parties expected to make submissions.

The application which was lodged by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) ahead of the August 8 General Elections had stalled in court following objections over the court’s jurisdiction on the matter.

The application was filed at a time of heightened campaign by civil society organizations under the National Integrity Alliance (NIA) who sought to have candidates deemed to have violated the provisions of Chapter Six of the Constitution on leadership and integrity barred from seeking elective posts.

In the application, KNCHR moved the court to determine whether Chapter Six outlined a proper test for leadership and whether it was an objective test and not subjective.

The commission also sought the court’s interpretation on a person found to have misappropriated public funds by the Auditor General would have been deemed to have violated Chapter Six and as a consequence be disqualified from contesting elections.

NIA had decried the poor implementation of the constitutional provisions on leadership and integrity citing lack of uniformity in the application of the law.

Chapter Six requires State officers to exercise authority conferred on them in a manner consistent with the Constitution and promotes public confidence.

It requires State officials to make decisions impartially without improper motives or corrupt practices.

They are also required to offer selfless service based on public interest.

In its submission on Monday, KNCHR submitted to the court that public officials were obligated under Chapter Six to adhere to and enforce guidelines on leadership and integrity arguing that those who fail to meet the threshold should be disqualified from holding public or State office.

“The Constitution has placed an irksome and onerous burden on those responsible for making public appointments by requiring that they make the appointments on the basis of a clear constitutional criterion of integrity and competence,” the rights commission argued.

Other parties expected to make submissions are the Attorney General, who has been listed as the respondents, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, the Auditor General, and twelve political formations listed as interested parties.

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