EACC: We have an issue with Nairobi Deputy Governor nominee

NATIONAL |

EACC through its boss Twalib Mbarak has objected Nairobi Deputy Governor nominee. [File, Standard]

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has written a letter to Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura opposing the consideration of Paul Mutunga for the Deputy Governor position.

In the November 29 letter, whose undersigned is EACC boss Twalib Mbarak, the agency cites a pending graft case against Mutunga as the key reason for their stance.

“The commission wishes to bring to your attention that the nominee was charged in Milimani Anti-Corruption Court, file number ACC8/2019 with corruption offences committed in Nairobi County Government, which include unlawful acquisition of public property, money laundering, conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption and dealing with suspect property,” said Mbarak.

The EACC chief executive officer copied Governor Anne Kananu and Nairobi County Assembly clerk Adah Onyango on the letter.

“In view of the above, the commission objects to the nomination of Mutunga as the Deputy Governor, and advises the Assembly and Governor to reconsider the nomination,” Mbarak said.

EACC says its advice to the county government is supported in law, as the agency is mandated to scrutinise public appointees for integrity.

On November 17, Nairobi Governor Anne Kananu nominated Paul Mutunga, 47, to serve as Deputy Governor.

On November 25, Nairobi MCAs approved his nomination. Eighty-nine (89) ward representatives out of 122 voted in favour of his appointment.

A day later, the High Court issued a temporary order stopping Mutunga’s swearing-in after activist Okiya Omtata filed a petition challenging his eligibility.

Omtata argued that the nomination, vetting and approval of Mutunga was a nullity because it was done without him seeking clearance from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The petitioner also argued that Mutunga, being a person facing active criminal charges in the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Division of the High Court, was ineligible for appointment as Deputy Governor.

The 2019 case that the EACC referred to in its letter, is in relation to the suit filed against Mutunga and 13 others, including former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, who is accused of graft relating to the payment of Sh68 million to a legal firm.

The suit is pending in court.

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