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Top names EACC wants barred from August poll

EACC

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The anti-graft agency wants 241 politicians, among them former governors Evans Kidero, Mike Sonko and former principal secretary Lilian Omollo, barred from contesting in the August 9 elections due to corruption and economic crime cases, impeachment or abuse of office allegations.

The 241 names flagged by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) include two presidential aspirants, a deputy presidential aspirant, 63 seeking to be governors and six senate hopefuls.

Nineteen of them are seeking to be woman representatives, 58 to be MPs and 98 to be MCAs.

Some of the politicians have already been cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to run and have hit the campaign trial.

They include Sirisia MP John Waluke, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, Ms Omollo, who wants to become the Embu Senator, and Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru.

The anti-graft body says Ms Waiguru should be barred over allegations that she abused her office through irregular receipt of travel imprests amounting to Sh10.6 million for non-existent trips. She has not been charged.

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The IEBC is not obliged to implement the EACC advisory when clearing the aspirants.

But it can deny aspirants clearance on the strength of a court order based on the graft cases.

“EACC considers these persons to have fallen short of the moral and ethical standards stipulated for election to public office,” the anti-graft agency said in a statement, adding that it hopes that the IEBC “will make appropriate decisions guided by constitutional values and public interest”.

Several petitions are pending before a bench of three High Court judges raising similar issues and the court is expected to seal the fate of some of the politicians or give them a lifeline.

Chief Justice Martha Koome recently waded into the leadership and integrity debate, saying that persons who have been impeached should not be cleared to contest the August polls.

Mr Sonko, former Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu and Karungo wa Thang’wa, who is seeking to be the Kiambu senator, were impeached from their positions.

The commission did an integrity verification process of the 21,863 persons seeking to be cleared for various political seats in the August 9 elections.

The EACC list also has Machakos governor Alfred Mutua, who is seeking to be the Mwala MP, and Garissa Governor Ali Korane, who is defending his seat.

Dr Kidero is currently facing two corruption cases before a Nairobi court, one relating to irregular payment of Sh68 million while he served as the Nairobi governor. Ms Omolo, a former principal secretary for youth and gender, is facing multiple charges over the loss of millions at the National Youth Service (NYS).

Mr Korane is facing charges over allegations of embezzlement of public funds amounting to Sh233.5 million that was meant for the Kenya Urban Support Programme.

The funds were allocated to the county government as a conditional grant.

The EACC also seeks to bar Tana River governor Dhadho Godhana from defending his seat.

Dr Godhana has been accused of procurement irregularities and price exaggeration in a tender for the supply of motor vehicles and motorcycles by the county government in 2019.

The EACC has flagged Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki’s re-election bid after he was charged with corruption over the procurement of solid waste incinerator.

The commission wants Hassan Noor Hassan blocked from running as governor over past abuse of office charges related to the NYS scandal. Mr Hassan was acquitted by the court in March 2020.

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Former minister Chris Obure, who wants to be the Kisii governor, is also on the EACC over the Anglo Leasing scandal case regarding billions of shillings lost in ghost security projects 20 years ago

The former chief administrative secretary is charged with failure to follow the law relating to procurement and the matter is yet to be concluded.

The serving legislators whom the EACC says should be barred include Kitutu Chache’s Richard Onyonka, who wants to be Kisii senator, Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West), Didimus Barasa (Kimilili), Jimmy Angwenyi (Kitutu Chache North), James Gakuya (Embakasi North), Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills) and Joshua Aduma (Nyakach).

The EACC says it is also confirming whether renowned athlete David Rudisha resigned as a police officer on time before moving into politics as required by law.

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