Blow for Waititu, Sonko as EACC bars impeached state officers from public office - Beaking Kenya News

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Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Blow for Waititu, Sonko as EACC bars impeached state officers from public office


The political careers of impeached governors Ferdinand Waititu and Mike Sonko appear to have been sealed after the EACC seemingly locked out the two from holding any public office in future.

EACC said all persons offering themselves as independent candidates or seeking party nominations for election must meet the integrity threshold under Chapter 6 of the Constitution.

"The commission considers a person is disqualified from holding public office if the person has as been dismissed or otherwise removed from office for contravention of Chapter 6 of the Constitution or its enabling legislation, in accordance with Article 75(3) of the Constitution," EACC said.

In a statement released on Tuesday, CEO Twalib Mbarak said a person is also disqualified if found, in accordance with any law, to have misused or abused a state office or public office or in any way to have contravened Chapter 6 as contemplated under Articles 99(2)(h) and 193(2)(g).

"For the avoidance of doubt, the finding contemplated in these clauses includes the finding of a court of law and any other competent agency mandated to interpret or apply the Constitution, " the statement read.

EACC said it has a constitutional responsibility to advise IEBC on the integrity compliance status of all candidates pursuant to Chapter 6 of the Constitution.

EACC pointed out that Chapter 6 prescribes the standards of leadership and integrity for public office, requirements which are further amplified by the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012.

Compliance with Chapter 6 of the Constitution is a mandatory requirement for appointment or election to public office.

The announcement complicates matters for Waititu despite having been cleared on Monday by the Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu to run as an independent candidate in the Nairobi gubernatorial by-election slated for February 18, 2021.

Waititu was impeached in January for gross violation of the constitution, abuse of office and gross misconduct – months after he was charged with Sh580 million irregular tender.

Sonko, on the other hand, was impeached on December 17 after the majority of the senators voted to uphold all the four charges levelled against him by city MCAs.

The embattled governor was accused of gross violation of the constitution or any other law, abuse of office, gross misconduct and crimes under national law.

"EACC wishes to inform the public that while the constitutional responsibility to clear aspirants to vie for various positions lies with IEBC, EACC is mandated to enforce the provisions of Chapter 6 of the Constitution, including the mandatory integrity requirements for all candidates," the statement by Mbarak read.

EACC will conduct integrity vetting of all candidates in the upcoming by-elections and communicate its determinations to IEBC for further action.

"It is our duty to elect persons of integrity as the surest way to bolster servant and transformative leadership that will, in turn, build a corruption-free society," the statement added.

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