NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 14 – It has now emerged that Prof PLO Lumumba’s security detail has been withdrawn, barely weeks after he had to step down from the helm of the now defunct Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC).
Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo revealed on Friday that some forces within the government had ordered the withdrawal of Prof Lumumba’s limousine and security, as the country transitions to a new Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC).
Kilonzo, is however protesting that taking away the provisions attached to Lumumba would be unfair as his departure from office was necessitated by the implementation of the Constitution, not personal failures on the job.
He also said that the former Director deserved better treatment and was entitled to continuous security like his predecessor, Aaron Ringera, as he had led the country’s war with zeal.
Lumumba, his Deputy Director Jane Onsongo, together with Directors Pravin Bowry and John Mutonyi resigned from the KACC after the Advisory Board disbanded the commission after the passage of the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) Act.
“I am aware that Lumumba’s security is being withdrawn but we need to remember that he served this country under legislation; he was not on a picnic on his own. Even if you sit in the anti corruption commission for one day, you make enemies and you need protection,” Kilonzo argued.
“Lumumba’s docket falls under my Ministry but we were not even informed,” he said.
He further observed that the clause in the EACC Act, protecting former anti corruption commission directors, had been removed adding that he would re-introduce it in Parliament to correct any such anomalies.
When Parliament was burning the midnight oil, to beat the constitutional August 27 deadline, MPs amended several laws including the EACC Act. Several stakeholders including the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution raised sharp objection to the amendments arguing that they were watering down the envisaged reforms.
On Thursday, Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim ordered the Clerk of the National Assembly and the Attorney General to conduct an audit of all the Bills that were hurriedly passed to beat the deadline.
Kilonzo added that he would help point out the anomalies in the Act when it was audited.
“Parliament diluted that law and a lot of clauses were deleted on the floor of the House and a lot of amendments were undertaken but remember my Ministry had presented a very modern and very advanced law on dealing with corruption,” he quipped.
The EACC Advisory Board also met the Attorney General on Thursday over the same issue with the AG promising to consider a possible clean up through a Miscellaneous Amendment Bill.
Among the concerns raised by the Advisory Board was the risk surrounding the duplication of roles in the commission, as well as the composition of the EACC Commissioners. The Board wants the number of commissioners raised to nine, with six part-time Commissioners and three full-time.
Omogeni said that the current provision for three Commissioners, including Chair, would hamper administrative duties.
“The two members could connive and have their way, however unsavory,” he argued.
Kilonzo further noted that there were five other laws that were required by December 26 including laws touching on the management of public finance and those on devolution.
“My Ministry is also looking into issues that touch on the elections date and I’m very happy to see the Supreme Court starting work on this particular topic. My Ministry is also engaged in the draft of the Bill that I published on gender parity so it’s an engaging moment,” he said.
The Justice Minister also challenged Kenyans to implement their national values so as to facilitate reforms.