BY SAM KIPLAGAT
The ouster of PLO Lumumba and his four deputies was motivated by interests other than the good of the Kenyan people, a judge said yesterday. Giving her reasons for suspending Section 34(1) of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act, which in effect sent the five packing, Justice Mary Ang’awa said the amendment by Parliament was not done in line and spirit of the constitution.
She said the reasons advanced by the applicant are monumental and of national and of public interest. While debating the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Bill on August 23, Parliament amended Section 34(1) sending Lumumba and his four deputies Jane Onsongo, Dr John Mutonyi, Wilson Shollei and Pravin Bowry home.
Justice Ang’awa said that through a full hearing the court will determine whether the officials should only be removed from office through a tribunal because of the security of their tenure. Lumumba and his deputies therefore remain in office until the case filed by Ledama ole Kina has been heard and determined.
In the application filed before the high court on Thursday, Ledama argues that no reasonable grounds for the removal of the commissioners were advanced by Parliament. He further says that after perusing the Hansard Report of August 23, Parliament used the debate to vilify, denigrate, defame and downgrade the work of Lumumba and his colleagues. According to him, the move was not only arbitrary but also unconstitutional.
Ledama, a resident of Nairobi, also accuses Parliament of sending the five out of office without bearing in mind the financial implications. He says as a taxpayer, it is public money that will be used to pay the five for the remainder of the term they will not serve. Justice Ang’awa directed Ledama’s lawyer Mbugua Muriithi to appear before the head of the Constitutional and Human Rights division of the high court on September 29 for direction.