Elgeyo-Marakwet County Assembly Thursday reinstated a suspended official facing corruption investigations, challenging President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive requiring public officials implicated in graft to step aside.
The assembly’s Speaker Albert Kipkogei Kochei had been on suspension over the President’s infamous list of shame released in March.
Philemon Koech Mdozi, Chebororwa Ward representative moved the reinstatement motion, saying it was informed by the intriguing state of affairs at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), following the National Assembly’s move to hound agency’s directors, commissioners and secretariat out of office. The move is now awaiting the nod from the President.
Mr Mdozi said given that EACC was in limbo, there was no need for those who obeyed the president’s “step aside directive” to still remain in the cold.
“Not all 175 officials in the list of shame stepped aside. Therefore, those who obeyed have now finished the 60 days investigations period and today is the 93rd day with no hope of EACC’s verdict any time soon,” said Mr Mdozi before the floor of the House.
He was seconded by Emsoo Ward representative Christopher Chebochboch who argued that the speaker should resume his duties pending the outcome of the case by the anti-graft agency and if found that he has a case to answer, then the law would take its course.
“Things are even becoming complicated as the fate of EACC, which produced the report is not known after its commissioners resigned while the fate of its chief officers hangs in the balance,” said Mr Chebochboch.
Majority Leader Wilson Boit told the House that speakers of other counties named in the list of shame had since resumed their duties, citing Trans Nzoia and Makueni. He said there was no reason why Mr Kochei should not be reinstated.
But Festus Kirop (Endo Ward) who opposed the motion said the House overstepped its mandate in passing the resolution. Instead, he said, the assembly should have waited for the EACC to give its decision on Mr Kochei.