Former Kiambu County governor Ferdinand Waititu and his Nairobi County counterpart Mike Sonko are permanently banned from ever holding public office in Kenya. This is according to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) which released its statement early today.
In the statement, EACC boss Twalib Mbarak said the body has a constitutional responsibility to advise on integrity compliance status of all election candidates.
“EACC advises that all persons offering themselves as independent candidates or seeking party nominations for election must meet the integrity threshold under Chapter 6 of the Constitution,” he said. This is in part due to the fact that Ferdinand Waititu had submitted his intention to run for the Nairobi gubernatorial by-election two days ago. In his submission, the former Kiambu governor expressed interest to run as an independent.
Waititu was unceremoniously removed from his seat after the Senate upheld his impeachment by the Kiambu County Assembly on claims of gross misconduct and abuse of office. The impeachment confirmation happened on January 21, 2020.
Mr. Sonko was also impeached for similar violations and his impeachment confirmation happened later this year on December 18.
Mbarak reiterated that a person is disqualified pursuant to Chapter 6 of the Constitution, if they have been dismissed or otherwise removed from office for contravention of Chapter 6 of the Constitution or its enabling legislation, in accordance with Article 75(3) of the Constitution.
Further, he said, any person found in accordance with any law to have misused or abused a state office or public office or in any way to have contravened Chapter 6 as contemplated under Articles 99(2)(h) and 193(2)(g) is also disqualified.
“For avoidance of doubt, the finding contemplated in these clauses includes the finding of a court of law and any other competent agency mandated to interpret or apply the Constitution or any written law,” he said.
The anti-corruption body reiterated that it intends to conduct integrity vetting of all candidates who are intending to vie for the Nairobi County gubernatorial elections and will submit its findings to the IEBC before the by-elections take place.
“EACC calls upon all Kenyans to take up and effectively discharge their constitutional responsibility in accordance with their sovereignty provided under Article 1
of the Constitution. Voters should strive to elect men and women of integrity. Whereas EACC and other law enforcement agencies are tasked to vet candidates for integrity suitability, the ultimate and most effective vetting is vested in the citizens’ unfettered powers to cast votes and freely elect leaders of their choice,” EACC boss Twalib Mbarak said.