|Written By:Nelly Moraa/Glena Nyamwaya, Posted: Thu, Aug 25, 2011|
The Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) will stand disbanded once the President assents to and gazettes the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission Bill 2011.
And as the bill came up for debate in Parliament Thursday evening, it was decided that the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission director Prof. PLO Lumumba as well as his two deputies Assistant Director- Legal Services and Asset Recovery Mr. Pravin Bowry and Assistant Director – Preventive Services Prof. Jane Onsongo will not be part of the new commission.
MPs decided that the four should be referred back to the ministries they were seconded from in order to give the new body a fresh look.
Among other highlights of the bill is that the KACC staff who were hired on contract basis will serve in the new Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission until the expiry of their terms, after which they will reapply for their posts and be vetted, depending on whether the commission needs their services.
As for the KACC’s advisory body, Parliament ruled that they will serve for a transitional period of 90 days from the enactment of the new commission, after which the commission will decide on whether to retain them or not.
The new look Ethics Commission will only boast of a chair and three members with MPs expressing the need for a lean commission which does not overburden the taxpayer and also eliminates lethargy.
The amendments also saw parliament strip the ethics and anti graft body, prosecutorial powers currently enjoyed by the KACC and but the new body will not lose investigatory powers.
The move to strip the commission of prosecutorial powers was mooted by MPs Fred Kapondi and Danson Mungatana who recommended deletion of clause 11(d)in the bill.
The clause in the ethics and anti corruption commission bill 2011 had proposed that the commission in addition to other functions will be able to investigate and recommend to the director of public prosecutions the prosecution of any acts of corruption or violation of codes of ethics.
The MPs want the Ethics Commission to be a serving commission and not an authority.
This week’s Tuesday 11pm debate on the bill saw MPs tear into the Kenya anti corruption commission indicting it for non performance and witch hunting.
They said the new body should not be granted prosecutorial or investigatory powers expressing fear that this may be abused.
The MPs who included ministers Charity Ngilu,Prof Sam Ongeri ,Amos Kimunya and MPs Jeremiah Kioni, John Mbadi, Rachel Shebesh and others castigated the KACC for failing to deliver on its mandate.
They said prosecutorial powers on criminal and economic crimes are vested with the director of public prosecutions under the new dispensation.
Parliament is currently considering debate on the employment and labor relations court bill.
Its passage now brings to 8 the number of bills passed by parliament today and awaiting presidential assent.