Mumo Matemu, immediate past Chair of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission had a Chair, and three other Commissioners, appointed in May 2012 for a single term of 6 years. However, as noted in the introduction part of this article, the appointment of the Chair, Mumo Matemu, was delayed by a petition in the High Court touching on his integrity and could not be effected until August 2013 when the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the lower court and confirmed his suitability to hold office.
As it turned out, Matemu's tenure was rarely out of the public eye with one negative allegation following the other. At one time in September 2014, two of the Commissioners including the Vice Chair, had written to the President saying the Chair was unfit to hold office. In March 31 2015, another of the Commissioners had resigned her position citing divisions within the agency.
Matters came to a head in April 2015 when the National Assembly voted to remove both he and his Vice Chair. The President promptly suspended the two bosses and appointed a Tribunal to look into their conduct.
Oddly, during the vetting of the same Commissioners in 2012, the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs of the then Tenth Parliament, had found that the 3 (the Chair was not among them), "....... lacked passion, initiative and the drive to lead the fight against corruption in this country. The nominees did not demonstrate sufficient interest in the fight against corruption.......".(Hansard, April 22, 2015 Afternoon).
In July 2015, the Commission on Administrative Justice CAJ raised objections to the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (Amendment) Bill 2015, passed on the 9th of July by the National Assembly ostensible to restructure the EACC in a bid to cure its short but messy existence. Said the CAJ in an Advisory: "The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has had challenges right from its establishment which was manifested in the appointment of the Commissioners and the challenges in working relationship among the Commissioners inter-se and also with the Secretariat."
Believing that the legislators were off the mark, the Advisory was unequivocal, "These challenges cannot be attributed to structural framework of the institution......(as) other Commissions similarly structured have not experienced similar issues. It is our opinion that it is not a sound practice to amend the law by restructuring a State Organ simply because the individuals who held office did not perform or that others who can perform have been differently designated. In our view, there is no problem with the structure of EACC. Historical hitches in appointment, incompatibility of individuals or individual questions of integrity are not reasons to restructure." Advisory Opinion on the Proposed Restructuring of the EACC - July 2015.
Others such as the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution CIC seeing mischief on the part of the National Assembly in passing the controversial Bill, said that it was, "........ aimed at paralyzing ongoing investigations by the anti-graft body."
Thankfully on the 5th of August 2015, the President declined to assent to the Bill.