Kenya’s anti-corruption body has barred Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu and his Nairobi counterpart Mike Sonko permanently from holding any public office.
EACC boss Twalib Mbarak said the body has a constitutional mandate to advise on the integrity compliance status of all political position candidates.
“EACC advises that all persons offering themselves as independent candidates or seeking party nominations for election must meet the integrity threshold under Chapter 6 of the Constitution,” he said.
Ferdinand Waititu was Removed from office after the Senate upheld his impeachment by the Kiambu County Assembly on grounds of gross misconduct and abuse of office.
His Nairobi counterpart Mike Sonko was also impeached on similar claims by Nairobi County Assembly.
Chapter 6 of Kenya’s Constitution prescribes the standards of leadership and integrity for public office, requirements which are further amplified by the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012.
EACC boss Twalib Mbarak reiterated that a person is disqualified pursuant to Chapter 6 of the Constitution, if they have 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.
Further, he said, any person 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) is also disqualified.
“For 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 or any written law,” he said.
Mbarak added that any person otherwise found by the Commission to be in violation of Chapter 6 of the Constitution also remains disqualified.
The EACC boss said it they will conduct integrity vetting of all candidates in the upcoming by-elections and communicate its determinations to IEBC for further action.
“EACC calls upon all Kenyans to take up and effectively discharge their constitutional responsibility in accordance with their sovereignty provided under Article 1
of the Constitution. Voters should strive to elect men and women of integrity. Whereas EACC and other law enforcement agencies are tasked to vet candidates for integrity suitability, the ultimate and most effective vetting is vested in the citizens’ unfettered powers to cast votes and freely elect leaders of their choice,” he said.
He reminded Kenyans that entrusting the management of public affairs to persons with questionable integrity will only entrench corruption and impunity at the expense of much-needed transparency, accountability, and good governance.