Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 19:08 EAT
Members of Parliament today adopted a scathing Public Accounts Committee report on corruption at the National Youth Service scandal that was seen as dealing a blow to former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru’s political quest. The report recommends that Ms Waiguru, who was repeatedly named as the mastermind of the scandal in which more than Sh1.2 billion was certified stolen, undergo investigations, lifestyle audit and eventually be barred from ever holding public office.
The estimated Sh1.2 billion was stolen through a series of transactions that involved payments for phantom supplies and outright theft of cash from NYS bank accounts. The PAC report adopted today recommended that Ms Waiguru, "be barred from holding public office, if found guilty after due process, in light of her overall leadership failures at the ministry.”
The report also asserts that Ms Waiguru, who for the first two years of the Uhuru Kenyatta administration was deemed as the most powerful cabinet member, contravened Chapter Six of the Constitution "in its entirety but more specifically Article 73 which provides that a State Officer must …bring honour to the nation and dignity to the office and promotes public confidence in the integrity of the office."
As MPs dealt a death nail to Ms Waiguru’s political career, anti-corruption activists blacklisted her as well as former Judiciary Chief Registrar Gladys Shollei, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua and 17 other top leaders from August polls over integrity issues. The activists, whose work is coordinated by the local office of Transparency International and the state-led Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, want the corupt leaders probed.
Organised under the National Integrity Alliance, the activists presented the list to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and other members of the Chapter Six Working Group today. "The list was informed by reports from credible institutions and we have looked at the cases that are active in court," said their leader Samuel Kimeu.
In 2013, IEBC ducked the question of who should determine the lack of suitability on the part of candidates seeking political office, employing a weak standard that saw suspects oc crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court contest the highest offices in the land. Below the presidency, several previously convicted criminals and leaders fingered by state investigations for corruption, ethnic clashes and other forms of violence were allowed to run for office.
This time, the IEBC might not the going as smooth. KNCHR has moved to the Supreme Court with concerns about the integrity of politicians ahead of the general election on August 8. The rights group sought an advisory opinion from the court on standards and guidelines that should apply to leadership and integrity.
It wants aspirants with questionable reputations barred from the election as many of those who won the just-concluded party primaries cannot pass integrity tests.
The blacklisted candidates are:
1. Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay)
2. Hassan Joho (Mombasa)
3. Kenneth Lusaka (Bungoma)
4. Mwangi Wa Iria (Murang’a)
5. Alfred Mutua (Machakos)
6. Evans Kidero (Nairobi)
7. Okoth Obado (Migori)
8. Anne Waiguru (Jubilee's Kirinyaga governor nominee)
9. Gladys Shollei (Jubilee nominee for Uasin Gishu woman representative)
10. Nominated Senator Elizabeth Ongoro
11. Former Rongo MP Ochillo Ayako
12. Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko
13. Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel
14. Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria
15. Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi
16. Kilifi governor hopeful Kazungu Kambi
17. Dandora MCA Stephen Kambi
18. Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu
19. Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter
20. Tiaty MP Asman Kamama
The allegations against them include abuse of office, audit queries about finances and participation in violence. The activists claimed the candidates are responsible for loss of Sh16.8 billion public funds.
"We have handed this list to the vetting agencies for action. It is not our role to register or clear aspirants,” said alliance member Irungu Houghton, who is from the Society for International Development.