MP’s Bill Seeks to Permit Corruption Convicts to Contest Elections

June 30, 2023

Should a bill proposed by Homa Bay Town Member of Parliament Peter Kaluma receive approval from the August House, corruption convicts could be allowed to run for office and be appointed as public officers.

Kaluma wants to amend the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act of 2003 by removing Section 64 of Chapter Six of the Constitution, which currently prohibits individuals convicted of corruption and economic crimes from holding public office.

Section 64 of the law pertains to the disqualification of individuals who have been convicted of corruption or economic crime offenses from being elected or appointed as public officers for a period of ten years following their conviction.

The lawmaker argues that once a person has served their punishment for a conviction, it is unjust to impose an additional 10-year ban on them from holding public office.

The proposal attracted sharp criticism from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

The anti-graft watchdog argues that repealing the law would diminish the deterrent effect it holds. EACC says that public officials who have refrained from engaging in corrupt practices due to the fear of the ten-year ban would no longer have any reason to be concerned, potentially leading to an increase in corruption.

The EACC adds that despite its intensified efforts in combating corruption, the existence of weak anti-corruption laws has been a significant hindrance to achieving success.

The Commission expressed concern that actions such as those taken by Kaluma and other MPs proposing to weaken anti-corruption laws will undermine the progress made so far.

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