Mudavadi wants MPs to withdraw Bills allowing graft convicts to run for office

Mudavadi wants MPs to withdraw Bills allowing graft convicts to run for office

Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi speaks on September 26, 2023 during the launch of EACC's five-year Strategic Plan for the 2023-2028 period. PHOTO | OPCS

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has urged Homa Bay MP Peter Kaluma and his Mbeere counterpart Geoffrey Ruku to retract Bills they have introduced in Parliament which aim to amend anti-corruption and economic crimes legislation.

Kaluma is seeking to water down the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act of 2003 by deleting Section 64 of Chapter Six of the Constitution, which bars corruption and economic crimes convicts from holding public office.

He argues that a convicted person will have already served the punishment hence the 10-year ban is unfair.

Ruku's proposed legislation, on the other hand, seeks to decriminalize specific facets of public procurement, property disposal, contract tendering and expenditure.

Both bills are titled the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Amendment Bill, 2023.

Speaking on Tuesday during the launch of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission's (EACC) five-year Strategic Plan for the 2023-2028 period, Mudavadi labeled the Bills as regressive, adding that they have the potential to reverse the progress achieved in the fight against corruption.

"If these changes are accepted, these bills will open the door for individuals with corruption histories to hold public office and offer significant leniency to those inclined to corrupt practices within the private sector," said Mudavadi.

"Therefore, I kindly request the two Members of Parliament to consider withdrawing their Bills. We must remember that we can only defeat corruption if we stand together in unity of purpose and effort."

The Prime CS likewise called on Parliament to expedite the passage of the Conflict of Interest Bill, 2023 that was approved by the Cabinet in February, emphasizing that it will play a significant role in curbing corruption.

"The Bill seeks to provide a framework for the management of conflict of interest on the part of State and Public Officers arising from the discharge of their official duties," he said.

"It introduces strong legal safeguards against the real, apparent, or potential conflict between the private interests of public servants on one hand, and the public interest and their official duties on the other hand.”

Mudavadi added that the Bill has undergone its First Reading before Parliament and is now in the process of advancing to the Second Reading.

"I humbly request that the House fast-track this," he said.


Citizen Digital Corruption Musalia Mudavadi EACC

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