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EACC commissioners ask Kinisu to resign over family business probe

COUNTIES
By Cyrus Ombati | July 28th 2016
EACC Chair Philip Kinisu's family business is being investigated over dealings with the NationalYouth Service. (Photo: File/Standard)

Nairobi: Pressure continued to mount on the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission boss Philip Kinisu with his fellow commissioners asking him to step aside over a probe on his family company.

They want him to step aside without being suspended as per the law.

This is in connection with ongoing investigations into how his family company Esaki Limited won government tenders worth millions of shillings at the National Youth Service.

Four commissioners and the CEO issued a statement urging Kinisu to step aside to allow the probe because his personal interests are in apparent conflict with those of the public in respect to the investigations.

The commissioners reiterated the need to enforce compliance with the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution, Leadership and Integrity Act and EACC Code of Conduct.

“Holders of public office are required to observe high ethical standards and therefore the view of the commissioners is that the continued occupation of the office of the Chairperson of the Commission is in apparent or potential conflict with public interest whether real or perceived,” said the statement.

They said they had written to the Attorney General Githu Muigai seeking his legal opinion on the matter of the chairperson more particularly considering the view of the commissioners that Kinisu should take personal responsibility without the necessity of a suspension being invoked under section 42(7) of the Leadership and Integrity Act.

“The voluntary action will pave way for independent investigations into the matter and also set the standard as the chair of EACC,” added the statement.

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Those who signed it include the vice chairman Sophia Lepuchirit, commissioners Dabar Abdi Maalim, Paul Mwaniki Gachoka, Rose Mghoi Macharia and CEO Halakhe Waqo.

Kinisu declined to respond to our inquiries to his mobile phone. He had however last week said he would not resign.

The commissioners explained as the chairperson, Kinisu is tasked with the responsibility of providing policy direction on all matters for the commission including investigations into corruption, economics crimes and unethical conduct.

Kinisu is also involved in considering files where investigations are concluded and is a joint signatory to files forwarded to the DPP for review and further action.

The move was also informed by the fact that the commission was actively investigating the NYS matter, which was known to Kinisu.

The commissioners said the complaint against Kinisu will be investigated objectively, impartially and with utmost regard to professionalism and sound corporate practices.

The move comes days after Kinisu and his wife Mary were questioned by detectives at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

Among the tenders under probe is the supply of goods to the National Youth Service (NYS), which is under investigations by the anti-corruption agency.

Esaki was awarded a Sh150 million tender by ministry of health in a tender it had won.

The company was licensed to supply insecticides for the malaria control programme a day before the tender was opened.

Documents show the firm was licensed by the Pest Control Products Board on March 23, 2015. The following day- March 24, 2015 the tender for the supply of the insecticides was opened.

The company had bid under the Youth Access Government Procurement Opportunities and was in April 2015 awarded the Sh150 million tender.

It was paid within three months. For instance, the invoice, counter receipt book voucher, completion certificate and delivery note were all processed on the same day- August 10, 2015.

Esaki was paid the full amount a week later on August 17, 2015.

Kinisu said he has since resigned as a director from the company early this year.

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