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Graveyard that is top job at Kenya’s anti-corruption agency

POLITICS
By LUKE ANAMI and PAUL WAFULA | July 20th 2016

NAIROBI: EACC chairman Philip Kinisu has started walking a path that almost all his predecessors have walked.

This is how his predecessors were hounded out of office.

Matemu Mumo: Was forced to resign in May last year despite putting on a brave face in the wake of pressure. He had been suspended weeks before he threw in the towel following a sustained push from the political class. He had been at the helm of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) since 2012. He had been leading a powerless commission after his fellow commissioners resigned, leaving him with a shell.

The decision to remove Mr Matemu from office was triggered by a petition submitted to the National Assembly by Geoffrey Oriaro, who had argued that he, together with a fellow commissioner, were incapable of leading the war against corruption. As has been the practice in the past, MPs voted in favour of removing them and gave the recommendation to the President. This led to his suspension and eventual removal from office.

Patrick Lumumba: His exit was as dramatic as his tenure at the helm of the anti-corruption commission. He never lasted long enough to see the end of his famous 'high voltage files' reach the courts. Prof Lumumba and four commissioners were sent packing after Parliament passed the new law that disbanded his agency. An attempt by then Gichugu MP Martha Karua to move an amendment to have four directors of KACC remain in office temporarily to protect sensitive files was defeated.

Aaron Ringera: Was forced to resign in 2009 under pressure from Parliament and civil society following his reappointment mishap. After serving his first term, Justice Ringera found himself on the wrong side with Parliament after his reappointment was found to have been illegal. President Mwai Kibaki, who had reappointed him, lost the constitutional battle after the then Parliament's Speaker Kenneth Marende allowed parliamentarians to discuss a report questioning the appointment of Ringera.

Harun Mwau: Former Kilome MP Harun Mwau was appointed director of the defunct Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission in December 1997, months after it was formed. Just like his successors, his luck at the helm was short-lived, as he was removed after being in office for only six months. Mr Mwau's dismissal came following a public row with former Finance Minister Simeon Nyachae, after he (Mwau) filed charges against four high-ranking Treasury officials. He ended up being kicked out in may 1998 and his position was taken over by Ringera in March 1999.

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