The vetting team
would also do their due diligence and then the two pieces of
work would be brought together.
This will form the
basis of the soap opera that should then follow with the public
being treated to a televised humiliation of a respected person
as their start on the journey to serving the public.
This process must be
stopped and be revised.
To conclude on the
issue of vetting (now that we have a break following the same
process being applied to the selection of a Chief justice) I
will turn to how ineffective this process is in producing the
desired change in our national values and integrity.
We will start with
the end process and then the following week look at the
operations in the various public offices and how they are
perceived with respect to Chapter six of the Constitution of
Since the coming
into force of the current Constitution of Kenya in twenty ten,
we have had a large number of top people in public service
Secretaries and Principal Secretaries were all subjected to
vetting by Parliament.
The Public Service
Commission also did their bit as did the Judicial Service
commission for their relevant teams.
themselves were also subject to vetting by Parliament before
they were released as “Independent” operators for various parts
of the Constitution.
The way our
Constitution was set up was that the Commissions would be the
pure and truthful conscience of the mwananchi.
They were to protect
the sovereignty of the people, secure observance by all State
organs if democratic values and principles and promote
They would discharge
their duties without fear or favour and would ruthlessly defend
the values of the country.
They would be truly
Independent and would have tenure of office unless of course
there was good reason to remove them.
Removal from office
in itself is an onerous process and lends itself to dragging the
incumbent through the mud, in public, till such time as they
voluntarily leave or leave in disgrace.
The premises for
removal include serious violation of the Constitution or any
other law including contravention of the famous Chapter six on
Other premises are
gross misconduct, physical or mental incapacity to preform the
functions of the office, incompetence or bankruptcy.
Once any of these
are suspected, anyone can present a petition to parliament
asking for the removal of the incumbent or the whole Commission.
This will then
trigger action by Parliament.
If they find that
there are sufficient grounds then they would recommend to the
President for the person or the Commission to be removed.
He or She will then
form a Tribunal of some four people, three of whom must be
judges, to listen to the pleadings.
The decision of the
Tribunal is final and the President has to do what they say.
This is a lengthy
process and though well designed, relies on the integrity and
impartiality of the members of Parliament as the key gate
keepers to the process.
They become the
conscience of wanjiku as the poacher turns gamekeeper for our
Where there have
been partisan appointments in the first place, there can be no
independence or impartiality in the process.
Where there are
fights between the government and the opposition in the August
house then the tyranny of numbers will rule.
The outcome of such
a process will most likely be flawed.
So in short, the
vetting process at entry into public service is full of potholes
and the “impeachment” process at the opposite end is also filled
objectives of the Constitution of Kenya were noble, the way it
is structured to fulfil its objectives relies on the integrity
of a lot of people.
This makes it very
difficult to get an impartial process – at least in the eyes and
ears of the average Kenyan.
They have heard and
seen a lot of corruption and favouritism in the public service
even when the leadership avers that there is none.
The reality is that
the stories doing the rounds quietly in Kenya whether true or
not are not very positive on the uprightness of those who lead
us in the public service.
The processes of
vetting and removal have completely lost their credibility and
we seem to be quietly sliding back to the olden days.
This is not
good for Kenya
As Kachumbari says,
one step forward and two steps back is not a good place to be