President Uhuru Kenyatta has suspended EACC chairman Mumo Matemu and vice chairperson Irene Keino over alleged incompetence and violation of the Constitution.
The two were barred with immediate effect from undertaking any commission functions and duties pending the hearing of a tribunal set up to investigate them, said State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu.
“This process in no way hinders the work of the organisation which remains constitutionally established and operational,” Manoah noted in a statement to newsrooms on Thursday.
He said the move was in line with Article 251 (4) (a) of the Constitution and MPs decision at Parliament on Wednesday to have the two removed.
“The resolution by the Parliamentarians disclosed sufficient grounds for their removal to the satisfaction of the Assembly,” he said.
One hundred and thirty legislators voted to send the commissioners home against 52, while three abstained.
Their removal was based on the petition filed in the National Assembly by city lawyer Geoffrey Oriaro.
The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee that investigated the petition recommended that President Uhuru Kenyatta forms an independent tribunal to investigate the conduct of Matemu and Keino.
But Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma and his Makueni counterpart Daniel Maanzo faulted the recommendations, saying that the House was overstretching its mandate.
â€œIt does not befall upon Parliament to determine what the President must do. The President has two things â€“ to suspend the commissioners and appoint a tribunal to investigate their conduct,â€ Kaluma said.
However, the adoption of the report was shrouded in the heated debate over ownership of the Integrity Centre that houses the EACC.
Majority leader Aden Duale said Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula, Adan Ahmed and a Mr Makokha are the owners of the Integrity Centre.
He however failed to produce evidence linking Wetang’ula to the ownership, prompting Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa to protest.
Wamalwa said introducing Wetangulaâ€™s name was malicious as the building is owned by Adan and his wife.
The House passed an amendment by Maanzo that EACC concludes investigations into the ownership of the building in 14 days.
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