The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has moved to the court to block candidates facing integrity issues from contesting in August polls despite getting clearance from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EACC).
Lawyers representing the anti-corruption agency argued that the electoral body should not have cleared all the candidates in the list of 241 politicians blacklisted last week.
However, IEBC told off EACC stating that it would not be compelled to block all the candidates as some of them had ongoing court cases and are innocent until proven guilty.Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Offices at Integrity Centre in Nairobi. Monday, 18 November 2019.Simon KiraguKenyans.co.ke
Further, EACC argued that it would be unfair for the electoral body to clear the candidates yet they had spent a lot of time compiling the list after the electoral body made the request.
EACC cited the 2017 polls where flagged candidates were cleared despite recommendations from various investigative agencies asking IEBC not to do so.
"At around this time five years ago, EACC shared with IEBC a list of 106 aspirants who had integrity issues, and the majority were cleared," EACC's lawyer, Phillip Kagucia, argued.
"The EACC cannot direct the IEBC on how to conduct its mandate. What it does is to avail material to IEBC to interpret the document. The IEBC is not a conveyor belt to act on material as recommended," Charles Mwongela, IEBC'S lawyer, argued.
Nonetheless, both parties agreed that impeached candidates would not be allowed to be on the ballot on August 9.
Those who were blocked from contesting on impeachments grounds include Mombasa gubernatorial aspirant Mike Mbuvi Sonko and UDA aspirant for Kiambu Senatorial seat, Karungo Wa Thangwa.
While making a determination on the eligibility of the 241 politicians to contest on June 4, IEBC chairperson, Wafula Chebukati, stated that it would be against the Constitution to block candidates who had active cases as they had not been convicted.
"The three aspirants who were impeached are disqualified from contesting. A person who is removed from office in contravention of Chapter 6 of the Constitution is disqualified from holding office, elective or appointive.
"Cases of aspirants under investigation are 11; one presidential aspirant and 10 gubernatorial aspirants. They are not disqualified by law and may contest in keeping with the presumption of innocence until proven guilty," Chebukati stated.Mike Sonko addressing a church breakfast meeting at a Mombasa hotel on May 28, 2022.Mike Sonkocorruption
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