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Kaparo resigns as Nema boss to chair URP

BUSINESS
By | April 20th 2012

BY FELIX OLICK

Former Speaker Francis Ole Kaparo has resigned as the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) chairman to concentrate on politics.

Kaparo who has been at the helm of the Environmental watchdog for close to three years said he tendered his resignation letter to President Mwai Kibaki to concentrate on the affairs of the United Republican Party (URP) as chairman.

His exit comes amid speculations that URP would not be registered if he did not relinquish his position as the Nema boss in accordance with the Political Parties Act.

However, the former Speaker denied the allegations insisting that the Registrar of political parties Lucy Ndung’u had not informed the party of such a requirement.

"The registrar has never told us that the party would not be registered if I remained the Nema chairman. However, if my non resignation was a hurdle, then that hurdle has been removed," said Kaparo.

He insisted that his decision to resign was informed by his respect for the law that public officers cannot hold political offices.

"As a former speaker whose clarion call to the others was to respect the law, I have to set standards for other to follow. This is for the benefit of this country," he said.

Eldoret North MP William Ruto (left), former Speaker Francis ole Kaparo and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta during the launch of the United Republican Party E-Membership Registration at the party offices in Nairobi, recently. [PHOTO: GOVEDI ASUTSA/STANDARD]

He challenged other civil servants who are eyeing elective politics to follow suit and resign from public service.

He however said that that he would always remain a friend of NEMA since matters environment are close to his heart.

Kaparo expressed optimism that his URP party would be registered adding that they are eagerly waiting for the compliance certificate.

He now becomes the third high flying civil servant to officially resign from government to fully engage in active politics.

First to take the lead was former Mumias Sugar Chief Executive Officer Evans Kidero who stepped down†to campaign for governorship in Nairobi.

Former Education Permanent Secretary James Ole Kiyapi also resigned early this week to concentrate on his presidential campaigns.

According to Article 12(1) of the Political Parties Act, a public officer is not eligible to be a founding member of a political party, hold office or engage in activities that may compromise or be seen to compromise the political neutrality of that person’s office.

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