State House confirms Uhuru has petition on crisis-hit EACC


EsipisuNAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 10 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has received a petition over the top leadership at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu however told journalists that the petition was still being scrutinised.

“The President receives many petitions that need to go through a verification process but I can confirm that he has received a petition on the role of the EACC leadership,” he told journalists at a press briefing on Tuesday.

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He did not however, expound on the originator of the petition or the exact grievances detailed therein describing the disagreement between the commission’s Chairman Mumo Matemu and its CEO Halakhe Waqo over the suspension of one of its officers as “an internal issue.”

But as per the Constitution, should President Uhuru Kenyatta find the petition has raised legitimate concerns against the EACC commissioners, he is mandated by law to suspend them and form a tribunal to investigate the accusations levelled against them.

Esipisu’s revelation came after Matemu and Waqo took opposing positions over the former’s decision to suspend the commission’s Deputy CEO in charge of Technical Services Michael Mubea over “integrity issues.”

In a letter to Matemu dated Tuesday and seen by Capital FM News, Waqo reinstated the officer, saying the chairman acted outside of his powers when he took the decision.

“It is the role of the chair to give direction on such matters and not issue appointment, suspension, interdiction or even dismissal letters to the staff as this is the role of the CEO,” he wrote.

He also explained that Matemu’s vague reference to “integrity issues,” as the basis for Mubea’s suspension was dangerous as it made the commission vulnerable to a lawsuit.

“Under Article 47 of the Constitution, the commission must confront Mr Mubea with the specifics of the allegations and accord him the opportunity to respond before any action is taken,” Waqo stated.

His office, he said, had received no such complaints.

“As the CEO who receives all intelligence reports, I am not at all aware of the alleged intelligence. I am also surprised that intelligence reports to the Commission would bypass me at the CEO and come to you directly,” he wrote.

It is for these reasons and in light of his work history, he went on to conclude, that he had reinstated Mubea.

“Mubea’s work has been outstanding and clearly demonstrated in among other projects, the Anglo Leasing investigations.

“Chairman in discharge of this course of action you did not consult my office or the Human Resource office… and since I am in charge of the day to day running of the Commission according to the Act, I find it hard to enforce and do not support your action to interdict Mr Mubea,” he said.

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