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EACC commissioners' role reduced to oversight

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By Wilfred Ayaga | July 8th 2015

NAIROBI: MPs have supported amendments to the anti-corruption law, whose overall effect would be to give the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) secretariat an upper hand over the commissioners.

Amendments to the EACC Act, which were adopted by the House Justice and Legal affairs Committee Tuesday, received overwhelming support in the House, with MPs throwing jibes at commissioners as "job seekers who only apply to EACC after falling out of employment".

The MPs want the secretariat strengthened, while keeping commissioners away from core mandate of fighting graft, economic crimes and abuse of office in the country.

The new changes will increase the number of commissioners from three to five, but will work on part time basis.

The increase, according to vice-chair of the committee Priscilla Nyokabi (Nyeri) is 'to reduce collusion' among the commissioners.

"We want to avoid a situation where commissioners may conspire and compromise the war on corruption," she said.

Majority Leader Aden Duale while supporting the amendments, claimed that previous EACC commissioners had faced numerous challenges in their war against corruption.

"Let the role of commissioners be made advisory," advised Duale.

Chairman of the Justice committee Samuel Chepkonga (Ainabkoi) said the decision is aimed at attracting competent people whose interest would be to fight corruption and not 'collect allowances'.

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