Graft report puts Mumo Matemu on the spot

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chairman Mumo Matemu speaks at a public forum on good governance at the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi on March 27, 2015. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chairman Mumo Matemu speaks at a public forum on good governance at the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi on March 27, 2015. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MAZERA NDURYA

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) chairman Mumo Matemu seems to be walking a tightrope following revelations that he was kept in the dark regarding a confidential dossier on corruption that President Uhuru Kenyatta used to order several government officials to step aside.

Sources close to the EACC boss confided in the Saturday Nation that Mr Matemu only learnt of the report when the President alluded to it during his State of the Nation address to MPs and senators Thursday.

Separately, Attorney-General Githu Muigai revealed that a high-level meeting of key stakeholders would convene urgently to assess the anti-graft body’s ability to fight corruption.

Prof Muigai on Friday said there was a need to look at EACC’s constitution afresh to ascertain whether it had the capacity to decisively deal with runaway corruption in the country.

“We have to review the entire legal machinery for combating corruption and this will include evaluating if EACC is functioning properly,” said the AG.

WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION

Speaking a day after President Uhuru ordered officials to quit in a graft purge, Prof Muigai said the meeting would bring together the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Chief Justice, the Constitution Implementation Commission (CIC) and EACC.

“The review needs to take into account the prosecution and anti-corruption systems to ensure they work properly and decisively if the war against corruption, which the government promised Kenyans, is to be won.”

Prof Muigai said the government was committed to fighting corruption but a lot will have to be done in ensuring that the legal structures are functioning.

The AG was addressing the media at Serena Hotel in Nairobi after launching the Power of Mercy Advisory Committee (POMAC) strategic plan.

This came as the Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) asked President Kenyatta to sack all those who resist his directive that they step aside for investigations into corruption allegations.

Cofek secretary Stephen Mutoro on Friday said that Article 135 of the Constitution gives Mr Kenyatta powers to do so.

What remains, Mr Mutoro said, was for the President to act on those who will employ frivolous technicalities to disobey his directive.

‘’We agree that the very corruption suspects are working overtime to have EACC disbanded. They also want the public to believe that corruption is insurmountable and that it should be accepted as a norm rather than an exception,’’ he said in a statement.

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