Candidates are guilty until appeal succeeds

In Summary

• The EACC has issued a list of 241 candidates that it says should not be allowed to stand in the August elections

• The IEBC  has already started clearing candidates for election, including some on the EACC list

Image: FILE

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has issued a list of 241 aspirants that it wants barred from contesting the August 9 elections, including ten candidates for governor and 58 for MP.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has already started authorising candidates to contest, including multiple names on the EACC list. 

Some of those authorised to contest have  been convicted of serious offences but have appealed to a higher court. They argue that they should be considered innocent until their appeal cases are concluded.

The EACC has popular support. There is a widespread belief that most politicians, with a few notable exceptions, have been compromised. The EACC is right to try and clean house. Surely, the rule should be that a person is guilty after conviction in a lower court, and therefore ineligible to stand, and only becomes innocent again after an appeal has succeeded.

However the EACC should not have delayed. They have now put the IEBC in a difficult position since it has already cleared some names. If the EACC had issued its list a month ago, the IEBC would have had the perfect excuse to strike those 241 names off the ballot paper.

Quote of the day: "It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe."

Muhammad Ali
The American boxer died on June 3, 2016