George Kimani: Enact the Leadership and Integrity Bill Urgently

Parliament should urgently the Leadership and Intergrity Bill to operationalize Chapter six of the constitution.

Such a law shall vividly define the ethical standards and qualification of aspirants to political office. It will also safeguard the candidates from miscarriage of justice.

The recent interviews for potential seekers of public offices have witnessed panelists requiring the applicants to avail clearance certificate from various public organizations. Documents such Credit Reference Bereau, Income Tax Compliance and HELB certificates have been sought.  These types of demands are oppressive and discriminative.

Financial ability or statues should never be used as a barrier to public service. A clear legal frame work would outline who should run for various political offices.

There is no justification to bar a person who has been unable to discharge a contractual obligation with a bank or a financing body.

Similarly citizens who genuinely have been unable to settle financial liabilities with other departments courtesy of financial challenges should not be restricted from seeking political offices. 

Financial transactions that have contractual obligations binding parties should be subject of the civil law. Indeed some HELB loanees have never had productive financial engagements.

Majority have had difficulty sourjourn in the informal sector barely surviving. This is attributable to poor government policies, corruption and nepotism. Kenyans continue to experience hard economic realities and political office holders have not been spared.  

Unequitable elimination criteria end up as a class profiling. It criminalizes victims of poor financial standing.

However individuals with a history of criminal liability, documented aspects of abuse of public offices and undesirable moral attributes must never occupy political offices. 

This should be the threshold. Enactment of the Law on leadership and intergrity shall remove any opaqueness in so far as vetting of candidates shall be concerned. 

This will avoid stifling democracy and rule of law.

George N. Kimani, Nairobi 

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