Vet EACC staff afresh, says Uhuru

 President Uhuru Kenyatta and former President

President Uhuru Kenyatta and former President Mwai Kibaki during the funeral service of the late Brigadier (Rtd) Samuel Macharia at Holy Family Basilica, Nairobi. In a memomorandum sent to Parliament, the President proposes that fresh vetting of EACC bosses Halakhe Waqo and Michael Mubea takes place within a year. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By PETER LEFTIE

By JOHN NGIRACHU

President Uhuru Kenyatta wants all anti-corruption commission staff vetted afresh.

In a memorandum to the National Assembly explaining his reasons for refusing to assent to a Bill that seeks to remove commission bosses Halakhe Waqo and Michael Mubea, the President proposes that the fresh vetting take place within a year.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) officials who do not pass the vetting process should be sacked, the President proposes.

“The services of any person who fails to meet the vetting criteria established by the commission under this section shall be terminated in accordance with the contract of employment,” he notes.

In the memorandum to MPs tabled in the National Assembly yesterday by Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso, President Kenyatta argues that it is unfair and unconstitutional to send Mr Waqo and Mr Mubea packing without subjecting them to a fair hearing.

He instead proposes that MPs amend the 2015 Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (Amendment) Bill to insulate all EACC employees against job loss once it becomes law.

The President maintains that the clause seeking the removal of Mr Waqo and Mr Mubea contravenes Section 17(2) of the EACC Act, which requires the commission to inform the secretary in writing of the reasons for his sacking.

The clause further requires that the secretary must be given an opportunity to respond to any accusations levelled against him before any disciplinary action can be taken against him.

“The proposed provision is contrary to Article 47 of the Constitution which confers on all persons the right to administrative action which is expeditious, efficient, lawful and procedurally fair,” the President says.

He urges MPs to amend the clause by deleting the section seeking Mr Waqo and Mr Mubea’s removal and replace it with one stating that any EACC employee continues serving in accordance with their contracts.

His memorandum comes almost a month after MPs voted 70-39 to kick out Mr Waqo and Mr Mubea.

Originally, the Bill moved by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee aimed at increasing the number of EACC commissioners and making them serve part-time.

President Kenyatta also took issue with the mechanisms provided by the Bill for appointing EACC commissioners. The Bill proposes that where a vacancy arises in the membership of the commission, the Public Service Commission shall shortlist three qualified applicants for each vacancy and forward their names to the President for appointment.

President Kenyatta notes that the clause contravenes Section 6 of the Act, which provides that commissioners should be appointed by a selection panel.

DAILY NATION

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