The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has written to Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka to take action against two Senators involved in a scuffle within the precincts of parliament on July 1.
The Commission has noted that the allegations touching on two nominated Senators Mary Seneta (Jubilee) and Beatrice Kwamboka (ODM) constitute serious ethical issues which will amount to a serious breach of the integrity and ethical requirements governing the conduct of State officers.
The Commission is mandated to combating and preventing corruption and unethical conduct and to oversee and enforce implementation of the Leadership and Integrity and ethical conduct while discharging public duty.
In the letter dated July 2, 2020 and seen by The Standard, the Anti-graft Czar Twalib Mbarak wants Lusaka to inquire into the conduct of the two Senators and take appropriate action in line with the Parliamentary Powers Ad Privileges Act and rule 12 of the Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament.
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“The commission wishes to draw your attention to the provisions of Article 73 and 75 and sections 11 of the Leadership and Integrity Act which binds State officers to carry out their duties in a manner that maintains public confidence in the integrity of their respective offices,” reads part of the letter.
Article 73 (1) (a) (iii) states that Authority assigned to a State officer brings honour to the nation and dignity to the office and promotes public confidence in the integrity of the office.
While article 75 (1) (c) states that a State officer shall behave, whether in public and official life, in private life, or in association with other persons, in a manner that avoids demeaning the office the officer holds.
Section 17 (1) of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act states that the relevant House of Parliament shall have all the powers necessary for enquiring into and pronouncing upon any act or matter constituting a breach of privilege.
The same section states that where the relevant House of Parliament finds that a Member has committed a breach of privilege, the relevant House of Parliament may, in addition to any other penalty to which the Member may be liable under this Act or any other law, impose a formal warning, a reprimand, an order to apologize to the House or a person in a manner to be recommended by the Committee of Powers and Privileges.
The Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Committee chaired by the Speaker may also among other things recommend the withholding, for a specific period of time, of the member’s right to the use or enjoyment of any specified facility provided to Members by Parliament or recommend the removal or suspension for a specified period of time of the Member from any parliamentary position occupied by the Member.
Seneta and Kwamboka are alleged to have differed over the election of Ole Kina as Deputy Chair of the Senate Health Committee.
Trouble started when Ms Seneta accused some members, including Ms Kwamboka of colluding to edge her out of the position.
An angry Kwamboka, who is the deputy minority leader, confronted Seneta and a scuffle broke out.