Politicians facing court cases free to vie

Politicians facing court cases got a reprieve Wednesday after the ethics and anti-corruption body said they would not be barred from running for office.

Chapter Six of the Constitution requires that candidates running for public office should pass the integrity test and be above reproach to ensure only credible leaders are entrusted to manage public resources.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto are among leaders facing court cases, specifically one which questions their integrity to seek elective office.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) vice chairperson Irene Keino said no politician facing criminal charges in court would be barred until all avenues of appeal are exhausted.

“The law is very clear that all those with court cases are free to run for elective office, until all avenues of appeal had been exhausted,” she said during the launch of a drive for aspirants to fill wealth forms at EACC’s Integrity Centre offices in Nairobi Wednesday.

The Commission intends to use the declaration forms to gauge politicians’ fitness for office.

Mr Kenyatta’s The National Alliance (TNA) and Mr Ruto’s United Republic Party (URP) sealed a pre-election coalition deal on Monday that will see the former contest the presidency with the latter as his running mate.

On Tuesday, the Kenyatta-Ruto deal was expanded to include Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi.

Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto are due to stand trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity charges arising out of the post election violence.

The chaos that erupted after a disputed presidential election left 1,133 people dead an d 650,000 displaced from their homes.

Former head of the public service Francis Muthaura and radio presenter Joshu Sang will also face trial slated to begin in April 2013.

Those seeking elective positions during the March 4, 2013 General Election, will be required to get clearance by the EACC.


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