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Why Kidero, city MCAs may be locked out of general election

Anti-corruption authorities want governors, county officials and members of county assemblies who have corruption-related court cases to be locked out of this year’s General Election.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is compiling a list of the affected based on those who are already facing charges and those under investigation and intends to refuse them clearance.

“So as to stop the misuse and rampant wastage of billions of shillings given to counties, we will go for those who have enriched themselves using taxpayers resources. They will be taken to court and those hoping to vie barred from getting clearance for nomination,” Mr Michael Mubea, the chief executive of operations at EACC, said in an interview.

COURT BATTLES

The commission’s move, which will also affect national government officials seeking elective posts, could lead to a flurry of court battles.

The practice has in the past been that one can only be barred from elections if he/she had been convicted and gone through the appeal process as stipulated in Article 99 of the Constitution.

The EACC, the Kenya Revenue Authority and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations are mandated to clear all aspirants before they present their certificates to the electoral commission.

Among those targeted are Governors Evans Kidero (Nairobi), Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Adhi Godana (Isiolo), Adam Nathif (Garissa), Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia) and Mwangi Wa Iria (Murang’a) all of whom have been interviewed by EACC.

As part of its changed strategy to go after devolved corruption in counties, EACC has opened investigations into unexplained quick rise in fortunes of governors, their spouses, children, county officials and their aides.

LOSS OF FUNDS

Mr Mubea said ongoing investigations into procurement issues, crooked employment and loss of funds are already at an advanced stage in Nairobi, Migori, Siaya, Busia, Murang’a, Nyamira and Kilifi counties. Suspects from the seven counties will be taken to court in a couple of weeks.

In Nairobi, EACC will move to charge 12 MCAs over a fist-fight that marred attempts to kick out Governor Evans Kidero on September 29, 2016 after they lost a case where they had hoped to stop EACC from taking legal action against them.

The commission is also finalising new investigations into loss of funds and abuse of office in the Nairobi County Executive.

Mr Mubea explained that the commission was unable to enforce the Integrity regulations in the 2013 General Election since the mechanism was not in place and because the anti-corruption body was in transition from the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) to EACC.

At the time, the commission did not have a CEO and a deputy CEO.

He said they had instructed their investigators to deal with the cases quickly so that those found culpable could be taken to court before election campaigns heat up.