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Kenyan MPs approve names of new EACC commissioners

By Alphonce Shiundu | December 17th 2015

The National Assembly has approved the nomination of Philip Kinisu to head the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

The MPs also approved the nomination of Dabar Abdi Maalim, Paul Mwaniki, Sophia Lepuchirit, and Rose Mghoi Mtambo-Macharia as commissioners for the EACC.

The decision gives President Kenyatta the authority to formally appoint the five, have them take their oath of office and reset the war on corruption.

The five got the nod after they were vetted by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee.

On Thursday the chairman of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Samuel Chepkonga (Ainabkoi) rallied the MPs to approve the nominees. He said the time had come to pick non-lawyers to head the EACC and Kinisu fit the bill because of his international experience as an accountant and auditor with reputable firms.

"The committee observed that previous holders for the position were lawyers and failed to deliver, and that perhaps it was time to give the position to someone of a different background especially from the private sector and see what he brings to the commission," said Chepkonga in the report that cleared Kinisu.

For Dabar Maalim, the MPs were happy that he was not only qualified but he was also a religious man.

"The committee noted that the nominee looked religious and would bring honesty at the commission if appointed," said the report of the commission.

Paul Mwaniki was picked for his experience in the procurement sector "where major and rampant corruption cases are reported" and the committee concluded that he will be "useful" if appointed. He is a lawyer and the MPs said they did not find anything wrong when he acted for the EACC. The only condition is that once appointed, Mwaniki will have to drop all cases for his clients.

For Lepuchirit, the committee said her biggest strength was tenure in the civil service and gender.

"The committee also noted that the nominee represented the marginalized groups as well as gender—a key constitutional requirement in making public appointments," said the report of the committee.

Rose Mghoi is the only one who had to fight allegations that she was being probed by the World Bank for getting a consultancy job based on false credentials.

"The committee dismissed the allegations because they were not made on oath and further that the documentation relied on was not credible," Chepkonga said.

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