Integrity bill to block convicts from election
PEOPLE who have been convicted in a court of law and exhausted the entire appeal process will be barred from contesting in a general election. The Leadership and Integrity Bill 2012 which was published on Monday provides that only those to have undergone a fair administrative process will be barred from contesting in future elections.
The Bill, which is expected to be tabled in the House today, has been a subject of a furious debate after the Cabinet last week deleted some of its sections which sought to set standards for those seeking elective posts. The published version of the Bill is drafted in a careful way such word as “criminal” is given a mention only where necessary and in circumstances where the word cannot be avoided.
Section 13 (2) says that persons who wish to be elected to a state office shall submit to the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission a self-declaration form set out in the fifth schedule of the Bill. Even in the form, the drafters emphasize more in the breach of the Public Officer Ethics Act or a code prescribed under it.
Section 40 of the Bill says: A person is not eligible for election or appointment to a state office, if, after a fair administrative process has been undertaken, the person is found to have contravened the rules, regulations or the code of any entity that do not contravene the constitution or this Act on matters relating to ethics and integrity.The import of this section is that even if one is convicted but has a pending appeal in any court or constitutional he is liable to contest in an election or be appointed to a public office.
Section 6 (4) states that if any provision of the Bill is in conflict with the Public Officer Ethics Act, 2003, the Integrity law shall prevail. The Bill had been adjudged as the ultimate key as to whether or not Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto will contest the 2013 general election.
Uhuru and Ruto maintain that they will contest despite facing charges related with crimes against humanity at The Hague for their alleged role in the post election violence in 2007. Another suspect Joshua arap Sang wants to stand for the Trans Nzoia gubernatorial seat. In this context, the three may only be stopped from contesting in the elections if they have gone through full trial and the appeal process has been exhausted.