Matemu case goes to the Supreme Court
THE bid to block Mumo Matemu from heading the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has gone to the Supreme Court. In a notice filed yesterday, Trusted Society of Human Rights Alliance says it is not satisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal, which said Matemu should assume office at the EACC.
Matemu had been cleared by Parliament early last year but his appointment was blocked by the Nakuru-based NGO. The organisation said the appointment was unlawful because MPs overlooked "important issues" about him.
THSRA filed a case at the High Court and the judges ruled that Parliament and the Executive did not investigate whether Matemu’s recruitment met constitutional requirements.
Matemu appealed the decision by Justices Joel Ngugi, Mumbi Ngugi and George Odunga and last Friday, the court ruled that he should take up his work as the EACC chairman.
“We disagree with the High Court’s conclusion that there was evidence of Matemu's impropriety. To find as the High Court did, is to overturn the presumption of validity. In our view, the absence of records evidencing proper inquiry does not lead to a presumption of improper inquiry,” the five appeal judges said.
Justices Kihara Kariuki, William Ouko, Patrick Kiage, Gatembu Kairu and Agnes Murgor said that although the fraud accusations against Matemu were serious, the evidence provided by the THSRA was not conclusive and there was nothing to implicate him.
They said after evaluating the evidence, on loans allegedly approved by Matemu when was the company secretary at Agricultural Finance, they found him innocents. “The High Court misdirected itself by ruling that Matemu is not suitable for the job,” they said.
The judges said there was no proof that Matemu failed to meet any of the conditions and qualifications set out in section 5 of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act.
However, the NGO through its lawyer Kipkoech Ng’etich said it was wrong for Justices Kihara Kariuki, William Ouko, Patrick Kiage, Gatembu Kairu and Agnes Murgor to require them to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. Ng'etich said THSRA will appeal at the Supreme Court.