By Standard Team

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Trade Minister Amos Kimunya defended the reappointment of Justice Aaron Ringera as Kenya Ant-Corruption Commission director, saying it is within the law.

The leaders dismissed critics of the move as engaging in cheap politics.

Uhuru and Kimunya claimed Ringera deserved another term at the commission, adding he had done no wrong.

"Those criticising the President for re-appointing Ringera should stop the debate and instead focus on serious issues like the drought ravaging the country," said Uhuru.

The leaders added those accusing Ringera of not prosecuting suspects were misleading Kenyans as the commission has no powers to do so.

No powers

"The commission has no powers to take corruption suspects to court. Its mandate is only to investigate," said Uhuru. He proposed the amendment of the KACC Act to give the commission power to prosecute suspects.

The two ministers spoke at Manunga Catholic Parish in Kipipiri during a funds drive.

They asked their colleagues in Parliament to support the Appropriation Bill set to be debated this week.

Crucial bills

"The MPs should keep politics out of this matter and support development. Such Bills would improve lives," Kimunya said.

At the same time, Nairobi Metropolitan Minister Njeru Githae has told his Cabinet colleagues opposed to Ringera’s reappointment to resign.

Mr Githae said ministers not supportive of President Kibaki’s move have no business being in Cabinet.

"Kibaki is the appointing authority. He appointed some of these ministers now critical of his action. If they are genuinely uncomfortable, the honourable thing is to quit," the minister said.

Githae, who talked to the press after a Sunday service at African Independent Church of Africa, Gitaraga in his Ndia constituency, said Kibaki did not break the law.

"Those ministers who feel dissatisfied with the President’s actions should address them in Cabinet meetings not at public functions," said Githae.

Meanwhile, leaders in Meru Central District have hit out at Central Imenti MP Gitobu Imanyara for allegedly leading the onslaught against Ringera’s reappointment.

The leaders, led by former area MP Julius Muthamia, who is also a ‘Njuri Ncheke’ leader, claimed Imanyara is being driven by a grudge he harbours against Ringera.

The leaders further claimed the MP was fighting senior Government officers including the President and Civil Service head Francis Muthaura at the behest of some politicians to help them achieve unspecified political goals.

Justice Aaron Ringera Kenya Ant-Corruption Commission