The State In Kenya, has captured the Constitutional Commissions And The Independent Offices.


By George Biruri

In Constitution 2010, Kenyans, in their wisdom, created Constitutional Commissions and Independent Offices. They fortified them with security of tenure as prescribed in Article 251.

Kenyans were very clear on their role as listed in Article 249 as : protecting the sovereignty of the people, securing the observance by all State organs of democratic values and principles and promoting constitutionalism.

The performance of the Constitutional Commissions and Independent Offices since the promulgation of the Constitution have been very disappointing! They have been ineffective and unresponsive when required. They have sacrificed their independence and become like appendages of the executive. To illustrate their impotence, let us cite a few examples.

After the election, the office of the Director of Public Prosecution, withdrew corruption and other cases of all the people associated with the current regime. And yet the then DPP was appointed by the regime to be the head of the National Intelligence Service!

The Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission has been acting slowly and strangely in cases where key officials of Government are mentioned in scandals. It’s frustrating to note that up to now, they have not taken action on the recent scandal case of importation of cooking oil.

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission has been snoring heavily,when the drumbeats of incitement were being made; and when clear discriminatory remarks like that of Kenya being equated with a company, where only the so called stakeholders are supposed to benefit, while all others are removed from the que!

The most recent one is the annoying proposals by Salaries Review Commission to increase the salaries of senior Government officials and parliament, while denying the same to the Counties. Kenyans created the SRC to put to a stop the self conflicted case of public officials simply deciding to add their own salaries and increasing their perks and passing the budget. The SRC has only been active and rigid while denying lower cadres of their claim for higher salaries and perks. Whenever the SRC tried to tame the greedy appetite of the National Executive and the Legislature, they are threatened with denial of funds and disbandment through Constitutional amendment. As a result they have been cowering whenever the two greedy organs raid our public coffers for more.

The State has captured the Constitutional Commissions and the Independent Offices. They sing the songs of the tunes called by the senior officials of the Government.

The Judicial Service Commission, the Electoral Commission, the National Land Commission as well as the other ones are just a pale shadow of what we expected them to be.

It would be necessary to take remedial measures to safeguard them. However, it will not be a walk in the park, because those who benefit from the current situation will definitely not want it changed.

George Biruri is a political analyst in Kenya

and a regular contributor at the Diaspora Times


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