The National Assembly Finance and Planning Committee has rejected the nomination of former Kenya Power boss Ben Chumo over integrity issues.
The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 provides, under Chapter 6, for leadership and integrity of all public officers. The Chapter is predicated upon the assumption that State officers are the nerve Centre of the Republic and carry the highest level of responsibility in the management of state affairs and, therefore, their conduct should be beyond reproach. This means that under the Constitution Kenyans decreed that those whose conduct does not bring honor, public confidence and integrity have no place in the management of public affairs. This is to ensure that that those entrusted with the management of public affairs and resources are persons of good character, probity and uprightness. Article 232 of the Constitution of Kenya (2010) provides the values and principles of Public Service. The fulcrum of anti-corruption and public integrity reform is under the Chapter Six of the Constitution and the Leadership and Integrity Act. The law operationalizes Chapter Six of the Constitution on Leadership and Integrity.
Under Chapter 6 Article 73 (2) The guiding principles of leadership and integrity include– (a) selection on the basis of personal integrity, competence and suitability, or election in free and fair elections;
(b) objectivity and impartiality in decision making, and in ensuring that decisions are not influenced by nepotism, favoritism, other improper motives or corrupt practices;
(c) selfless service based solely on the public interest, demonstrated by–(i) honesty in the execution of public duties: and
(ii) the declaration of any personal interest that may conflict with public duties; (d) accountability to the public for decisions and actions;and
(e) discipline and commitment in service to the people.
On June 27th 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta nominated the former Kenya Power CEO Ben Chumo for appointment as Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) chairman. The former Kenya Power boss was picked from a list of big names who had been shortlisted for the position, including vice-chairperson of the Public Service Commission (PSC) Peter Ole Nkurayia and former Institute of Certified Public Accounts of Kenya (ICPAK) chief executive Patrick Ngumi. Others were Fred Abednego Odhiambo, Okuku Nakitari Humphrey, Simeon Pkiyach Pkatey, Irene Wangui Gikemi, Samuel Kibati Osoro, Ambassador Ephraim W.Ngare, Lyn Cherop Mangich, Dr Jane Musangi Mutua and Dr Abdirizak Arale Nunow.
However, The corruption rot at Kenya Power where he was the MD caught up with the management after DPP Noordin Haji ordered for the arrest of current and former officials of the firm over corruption allegations.On this regard, Mr Chumo was arrested on July 14, 2018.
Mr Chumo was charged in court over abuse of office, conspiracy to commit economic crimes and failure to comply with procurement laws in the purchase of faulty transformers worth Sh450 million during his tenure as Kenya Power boss.
However, according to the law, Ben Chumo had the right to present himself before parliament despite his ongoing graft charges, because had 14 days elapsed from the date of his nomination by the president before being vetted by parliament, Ben Chumo would automatically become the SRC Chairman. The process would only be halted by the parliament’s Finance Committee as it already has.
The report by Finance Committee rejecting Ben Chumo’s nomination has been forwarded to the House plenary where the MPs are expected to decide on the fate of the former KPLC Boss.