Block 106 candidates in EACC list of shame, activists tell IEBC
By PATRICK LANG’AT, published in THE DAILY NATION
Rights watchdogs insist that the electoral commission should bar the 106 politicians the anti-graft body flagged as having integrity issues from August polls.
The Kenya National Integrity Alliance on Thursday argued that unless the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) could contradict the evidence presented by the ethics body, then the 106 suspects should not be given the green light to be on the ballot.
The team said IEBC had the moral and constitutional duty not to gazette the aspirants they said were a bloat to the implementation of the Constitution’s ambitious Chapter Six.
“Even though the certificates have been issued, we know the final list of candidates that will be on the ballot is yet to be gazetted by the IEBC,” explained Mr Samuel Kimeu, the Transparency International Executive Director.
“Only those candidates of unquestionable integrity should be cleared to run for office in August.”
The alliance, made up of TI-Kenya, Society for International Development (SID), Mzalendo Trust and Inuka Ni Sisi, had released names of 20 politicians they said should never have been cleared by the IEBC.
23 MCA HOPEFULS
IEBC received their nomination papers between May 28- July 2.
The Ethics and Anti-corruption (EACC) then released to the IEBC names of 106 individuals it said had integrity issues in its files.
Of the 106, those that the EACC is investigating are 11 running for governor, one for Senate, two for County Woman Representative, 13 for MP, and 14 for the Member of the County Assembly.
Those that have pending cases, the breakdown of the EACC data by the IEBC shows, are six governor, two Senate, one woman representative, nine MP, and 23 MCA hopefuls.
On Thursday, Mr Kimeu said implementation of Chapter Six was a requirement for all Kenyans.
“Chapter Six is part of our Constitution, and it has set a standard that is applicable and enforceable,” he said.
He called on the other members of the Chapter Six Working Group— the Commission for University Education, the Attorney General, and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions— to also release their reports to follow that of the EACC.
“We want them made public. Let us know what they recommended,” he said.
Mr Kimeu insisted that the push to bar those with integrity issues was not an exercise in futility.
“They might be some gray areas in the Constitution but the general agreement is clear that if you have unresolved issues, you should not be cleared,” said Mr Kimeu.
SID’s Irungu Houghton said that the push for integrity in public service was “absolutely necessary.”
“We are saying: Do not gazette people who are in the EACC list, unless the IEBC can contravene the evidence by the EACC,” said Mr Houghton.
As the alliance launched an attack against those they said were not clean, it remains to be seen if they can actually be barred after they were given IEBC nominations certificates to run for office.
It is also not clear how the body can circumvent their own mantra that they can only bar those that have been convicted, and not those that are facing cases, and or have pending appeals or have exhausted such avenues.
“An appeal does not clear you, really,” said Mr Kimeu. “And it should not only be on criminal standards to disqualify people. There are many others.”