Political bigwigs blacklisted from vying in elective posts over integrity issues

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho./FILE

Nairobi, KENYA: Top on the red card list, that includes 20 political bigwigs, released by a section of civil society, are Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua and Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko.

The list released on Wednesday is questioning Mr. Joho’s academic credentials while Mutua is associated with alleged procurement irregularities of 16 Subaru vehicles worth sh. 147. 3 million and ambulances worth sh. 145.3 million.

“Sonko is linked with indecent conduct in public including a physical fight with Governor Kidero and disrupting proceedings of the Senate Public Accounts Committee. It is alleged he influenced the award of a Kenya Pipeline tender for a sh. 1.35 billion kickback,” said Irungu Houghton, Associate Director, Society for International Development, SID.

Moses Kuria, Gatundu South MP, has been accused of several counts of incitement to violence.

Other notable personalities that are being barred from contesting include Gladys Boss Shollei who is eying the Women Representative seat in Uasin Gishu County on a Jubilee ticket.

She is accused of procurement irregularities that included purchase of the sh. 310 million residence that would be occupied by the Chief Justice and authorization of a sh. 46.4 million to build pre-fabricated courts at Mavoko Law Courts.

Cyprian Awiti Governor Homa Bay County vying on an ODM party ticket is being investigated by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission EACC into possible alleged misappropriation of sh. 200 million, meant for the Agro City Project.

12 Governors, 6 MPs, 1 Women Representative, and 1 MCA aspirants made it to the list.

“The list is based on intelligence collected from different institutions mandated to investigate issues of national cohesion and corruption. This includes information from the EACC, the Auditor General and cases that are currently before court,” Samuel Kimeu, Executive Director, Transparency International told Baraka FM.

Mr. Kimeu added that the said individuals have been mentioned in corruption scandals, involved in cases of hate speech and have not had their names cleared during the course of investigation.

“This does not mean they are guilty,” he cautioned.

The Red Card list is informed by the Constitution of Kenya 2010 citing principles of leadership and integrity as per Chapter 6.

“In case they are cleared to contest the truth will come on August 8th when Kenyans choose their leaders through the ballot. People will not choose corrupt leaders. Powers will remain with the voters and electorate,” said Mr. Irungu.

He noted that some of the mentioned individuals represent a loss that cost the tax payers’ pocket a massive sh. 16.8 bn.

“That loss translates to women that were not able to get maternal health. It also affects farmers who did not get seeds and credit facilities on time. In the case of the NYS program we have the youth who do not have jobs that the institution had previously provided. Imagine the number of people whose quality of life would have improved if the sh. 16.8 bn had been put to proper use,” Mr. Irungu concluded.