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PUBLIC APPOINTMENT BILL VERSUS ETHICS

The Public Appointment (County Assembly) Bill 2014 is a great move by the law makers in Kenya but must take into account ethical measures. It is political practice in Kenya to appoint persons as a reward for their political support, nepotism, favouritism and bribes. If the Bill is passed into law then it might deal with the sham process of appointing individuals to public offices, not for their qualification, profession, integrity, but as a political kick-back. Elective positions are known for rewarding those who helped them get into power.

The Bill takes into consideration vetting and evaluation measures. The Vetting Committee is supposed to investigate also integrity and character of the nominee among others. However, there is a big challenge since some MCAs have turned to be puppets of the Governor. It is a party politics and no politicians have courage to oppose the decision of their party. Appointing and supporting candidates due to their political affiliations may jeopardize the Bill.

The Bill consider ethical principles such as evaluating personalities and ensuring that the right persons get the right offices. Excluding one because he comes from a certain clan is unethical. Appointing one because his relatives or he supported your campaign trail is unethical.

Another issue is the integrity and capability of the current MCAs to offer professional service in evaluating a nominee. The same MCAs may have dirty hands yet they have legislative power to make laws.

The role political parties play in public appointments is to be taken into account. The ruling majority shall always apply the tyranny of numbers and approve any appointee. This is the reality at the national government as well. Since the Executive enjoy majority in both Houses, it is not pragmatic to think of any way MPs can disqualify the appointee of the Executive. The same shall apply in the case of the County Government… and in such cases, the ruling majority shall always support whoever is appointed by the Executive.

The vetting committee has a big ethical challenge. The success of their mandate is pegged on ethical issues. This Bill may just be as good as many statutes that make no change in cleansing the system. It requires more ethical provisions that would make it hard for politics to influence the recruitment process.

Please read and make your comments.

About Peter Onyango

Dr. Peter Onyango O. is one of our main contributors. He is a senior law lecturer, a writer, a consultant, peace ambassador, and a researcher. He assists so many professionals, legal minds, and debaters with his skills and scholarly wealth! He supports children and village community as a way of giving back to community. He edits, proof reads, and publishes various articles for our page!

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