House team recommends sacking of EACC boss Philip Kinisu
By Wilfred Ayaga | August 31st 2016
NAIROBI: Anti-graft boss Philip Kinisu could become the shortest serving Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) chairman.
A House committee yesterday ruled that a petition against him had sufficient evidence to have him removed from office.
The National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee found that Mr Kinisu had failed to disclose his interest in a company that did business with the scandal-ridden National Youth Service (NYS). The committee wants Parliament to recommend to the President the forming of a tribunal to investigate the chairman, who is barely eight months into his term.
“Having considered the provisions of the Leadership and Integrity Act, the committee by majority reports to the House that the petition discloses grounds for removal of Kinisu as chairperson of the EACC,” the report read in part. “That this House resolves that his Excellency the President appoints a tribunal to deal with the matter in accordance with Article 251(5) of the Constitution.”
The report was tabled in the National Assembly yesterday and is the fist step in having Kinisu removed from office. His fellow commissioners ganged up to lift the lid off his dealings with Esaki Ltd, a company associated with his family.
A subsequent petition to remove Kinisu claimed he was unfit to hold office and should be sacked.
When he appeared before the committee to give evidence, the petitioner, Albert Ondieki, said he had evidence showing that the EACC boss had transacted business with NYS, and that Esaki had been irregularly awarded a contract by the Ministry of Health. He tabled documents to support his allegations.
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When Kinisu appeared to defend himself, he said he had resigned from the company and left it in the hands of his family. He also disputed claims that the company had benefited from underhand awarding of contracts.
“The allegations are mere fabrications by those frustrating the war on corruption who are now fighting back,” he told the committee.
If the House agrees with the committee, it will forward its recommendations to the President who will then form a tribunal to decide Kinisu’s fate.
“That considering the matters to which the petition herein relates, the House resolves that His Excellency the President suspends the chairperson herein pending the determination of the tribunal,” read a recommendation in the report.
The committee also interviewed other members of the commission before retiring to write the report.
Not even the voice of eight dissenting members in the committee could save the EACC chairman from the curse that has befallen his predecessors. The eight sought to save Kinisu’s neck by arguing that he was a victim of blackmail and extortion, and the allegations against him could not stand under constitutional scrutiny.
“The petition does not meet the threshold of serious violation,” they argued.
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