We’ll have the final say on persons seeking public office, EACC declares

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has warned that anyone seeking an elective position must get a clean bill of health from the commission before their names are captured in the ballot.

In an apparent reference to upcoming by-elections and future polls, the anti-graft agency says all aspiring candidates with integrity issues will be barred from taking part.

EACC Chief Executive Officer Twalib Mbarak maintains that compliance with Chapter 6 of the constitution is a mandatory requirement for appointment or election to public office.

The statement from EACC came shortly after former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu expressed interest in the Nairobi gubernatorial position. The decision by Waititu, who was impeached as governor, to seek clearance to vie for the county chief’s position had raised eyebrows over his suitability to contest again having been removed on grounds of misconduct and abuse of office.

But EACC, in a strongly worded statement released on Tuesday, appears to have removed any doubt. The commission insists 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.

In the statement, Mbarak says a candidate is disqualified, “if the person has 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,”

He further notes that a person is disqualified if found to have misused or abused a state office or public office.

“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 or any written law, ” Mbarak said in the statement.

To ensure this is done, Mbarak disclosed that the commission will conduct integrity vetting of all candidates in the upcoming by-elections and communicate its determinations to IEBC for further action.

The EACC boss stressed that the commission will do this given that the agency has a constitutional responsibility to advise the electoral agency on the integrity compliance status of all candidates.

At the same time, the commission has challenged the voters to strive to elect men Ethics and Antic Corruption Commission and women of integrity. According to the EACC, entrusting the management of public affairs to persons with questionable integrity will only entrench corruption and impunity.

“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 commission concluded.


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