Feb 7, 2023

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Haji, EACC want tainted candidates locked out

Two state agencies dealing with corruption and law enforcement have claimed that politicians faced with court cases are unfit to seek or hold public office.

Twalib Mbarak , Chairman of the Board of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC). The head of the prosecutor’s office, Noordin Haji, said they will not change their position, which differs from that of the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC).

The electoral authority said those with cases are still are innocent and free to stand for any electoral post. But Mr Mbarak said their agencies had played their part in trying to block politicians of questionable integrity, but their efforts had been in vain as such leaders had exploited loopholes in the law to gain their way into public office.

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“Our work as the EACC is to inform the IEBC of the integrity of the candidates submitted to it to decide on an electoral post,” he said, adding that they helped the IEBC with information on the integrity of each candidate.

“We even informed the IEBC that this candidate was charged with murder charged, the other is being investigated. These governors face cases of corruption and so many.”

The EACC chief said there was a need to revise certain sections of the constitution to bar people of questionable integrity from public office. He deplored the countless leaders of questionable integrity holding or vying for public office.

“In Kenya today we have people, including MPs, who hold high positions in government but have forged papers. Their cases are in court and we know it, but if you try to keep them from competing you will be referred to Article 99 of the Constitution [on qualification and disqualification for election to MPs],” he said.

< p>He said the Commission had flagged a number of applicants with forged papers and integrity issues even after they had been approved by the IEBC. “We spoke to the IEBC about this but they told us that the politicians use the courts to get a permit. This is one of the challenges we face.”

Mr Mbarak called on Kenyans to reject people whose integrity has been tarnished by criminal cases, adding that the commission receives reports of Standard 7 dropouts who ran for governor.

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“You have degrees but dropped out of class seven and class two. You are a seventh grade school dropout but have a degree, so where did you complete your secondary education? We have a big problem and the law is one of them,” he said.

“There are governors that we have indicted in court. It is known that some have escaped from prison. There are records that he escaped from prison, but he is still considered an innocent man.”

According to the EACC, there are sufficient records in Shimo La Tewa prison to prove that that former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko escaped from the facility. “What should happen to a person who escaped from prison? He must be arrested again and brought back there. Nobody will be bothered. The law must be obeyed. [Apart from this incident] I have never heard of a person who escaped from prison but was not arrested and taken back to prison,” he said. Defendants should not be in the vote. “Although this is a matter before the courts, you cannot be charged in Nairobi and then move to Mombasa to fight for the same seat. There are about three governors who have suffered the same impeachment. It would be a travesty of the law to allow such people to compete again.”

Mr Haji also clarified that his office does not suspend the prosecution of politicians involved in bribery, only changed priority to deal with election campaigns. related crimes. He said his testimony was misunderstood because the bureau had not suspended a corruption case to allow suspects to campaign. “There was a misunderstanding; what we said is that we prioritize election crimes related to electoral violence and corruption.”

The DPP said his office is currently prioritizing resources, expertise and skills to keep an eye on elections and other challenges the general election may present. The two were speaking at the fourth regional conference of the International Association of Prosecutors in Mombasa. >[emailprotected]