Chief justice (CJ) Martha Koome today presided over the swearing in of Rtd. Col. Alfred Mtuweta Mshimba and Dr. Monica Wanjiru as the newly appointed Commissioners to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) at the Supreme Court.
She congratulated the two officials following their appointments reminding them that in their hands lies the realization of the constitutional values and principles of integrity, accountability and good governance as they join the Chairperson and other Commissioners of the EACC.
Speaking during the swearing in ceremony held at the Supreme Court building in Nairobi, Koome noted that the expectations of Kenyans was that the EACC the epicenter of good governance and morals that any institution in the country should emulate towards the realization of the goal of having an accountable governance system.
“I urge you to always bear in mind our nation’s history and context which informed the unique provisions of Chapter Six of the Constitution on Leadership and Integrity,” she said.
The CJ added that the 2010 Constitution is unique in its preoccupation with concerns around integrity and corruption due to the concern that public service and supply of goods and services to government and its agencies has been turned into a gravy train for plunder of State coffers and national resources.
“It is in response to this undesirable state of affairs that Kenyans entrenched principles on leadership and integrity in the Constitution and made the EACC the custodian and enforcer of these principles,” she maintained.
She urged the new appointees to strive in their work to enforce the normative standards on integrity and accountability set out in the Constitution, the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act and other laws insisting that it was the only way to root out corruption in the country’s public service and public procurement.
Koome cautioned the two to always remember that rampant corruption has compromised the government’s ability to offer public services to the people thus leading to lack of access to basic necessities like education, health care, water, amongst others, by citizens including the vulnerable groups in the society.
“Our entire health care has been compromised by corruption and many people are dying from treatable diseases due to this vice. The same case applies for education and other sectors. This Judiciary is not an exemption as you might know we recently requested EACC to conduct our systems review and to advise us on how to root out corruption as you cannot talk of the Judiciary as the vanguard of justice and fairness and corruption at the same time,” she added.
The CJ advised the new Commissioners to let the oath they have taken guide them in their day to day work.
The oath which clearly stipulates that one must never depart from the law also requires, in equal measure, that one serves the country to the best of their abilities bearing in mind the enormous responsibilities bestowed upon them.
By Michael Omondi