The Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission Chairman Mumo Matemu has resigned just days after Vice Chairperson Irene Keino quit following their suspension and formation of a commission of inquiry to investigate their conduct.
Matemu was set to face a Commission of Inquiry investigating allegations of corruption and abuse of office against him and Keino after Parliament approved a petition that sought their removal from office.
“I have today tendered my resignation as chairperson of the Ethics and Anti corruption Commission vide my letter addressed to the President of the Republic of Kenya,” he said in a statement.
Matemu said he had written to Kenyatta in accordance with the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission Act tendering his resignation ‘for the sake of the fight against corruption’.
“I have taken this considered decision solely for the purpose of subordinating my personal rights and interests to the greater public good in the fight against corruption,” he said.
His resignation means that he will not face the four member tribunal headed by retired Judge Jonathan Havelock set to probe his suitability to head the institution.
Commissioner Jane Onsongo had resigned earlier, even before the National Assembly had debated a motion on the commissioners’ suitability to serve.
Vice Chairperson Keino resigned two weeks ago to avoid going through a public inquiry.
“Although, I would have been pleased to step aside for a full public inquiry into any of the allegations made against me, I opt to resign because Kenya can never win the war against corruption without personal sacrifice.”
Keino had claimed that she had been coerced by senior Government officials to quit with a promise of handsome rewards.
Keino claimed that the EACC commissioners were being forced to leave office unceremoniously to cover up for the sensitive Anglo Leasing case and investigations they were finalizing on the infamous Karen land grabbing estimated at Sh8 billion.
“The attempt has also manifested itself in the fuelled internal feuds at the commission, the concealment of documents, the clear in instances of insubordination,” she stated.
The Attorney General is on record allaying fears that the commission could ably conduct its mandate without commissioners amid opposition from the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution.
“We believe that whereas the technical work of the Commission can continue to be carried out by the Secretariat, no formal decision of the commission including the transmission of recommendations of the commission to the Director of Public Prosecutions can be legally effected by the commission in the absence of the Commissioners,” said CIC.
The AG discounted the CIC claims saying there were several other individuals who would run the institution in the absence of Commissioners.
“EACC is a body corporate. It is not made up of one commissioner or two or even three. It is made-up of several individuals who work there. There are an excess of 50 lawyers for example. There is a Chief Executive Officer. The commission is in office; it is functioning and delivering files to the DPP. The DPP is receiving files and taking them to court,” he stated.