Kenya allows candidates convicted for corruption to contest polls

by | Jul 27, 2022 | World

Picture this: a member of parliament fined $7m for corruption and handed a 67-year jail term; a top civil servant with an asset seizure order against her; lawmakers convicted of bribery, economic crimes and impersonating corruption investigators.They are all standing for office in Kenya’s August 9 presidential and parliamentary elections, fuelling voter frustration over endemic corruption in a country long regarded as one of East Africa’s most vibrant democracies.
The government’s anti-corruption watchdog, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), recommended that 241 candidates be disqualified from running, but only five were.
The election board declined to comment on individual cases but said the constitution only allows it to reject candidates on the basis of convictions if they have exhausted all avenues of appeal.
“The politicians who crafted the constitution ensured they had a backdoor,” said Phillip Kagucia, the EACC’s deputy director. “That backdoor leaves us vulnerable to unethical leadership.”
Behind him, printouts of Bible verses about good governance decorate the wall.
The EACC’s list of candidates who should be disqualified, shared with Reuters news agency, included 55 people charged with criminal offences, three with convictions and 11 under investigation. Others were accused of forging education certificates or not resigning from public office, a requirement to run.
The leading presidential candidates, Dep …

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