Individuals charged with corruption and other economic offenses will be kicked out of next year’s elections if lawmakers approve proposed changes to the laws on elections, leadership and integrity.


Candidates with active court cases will be barred from running for the office of president, member of parliament or member of county assembly (MCA) under proposed amendments to the Elections Act and the Leadership and Integrity Act.


The Elections (Amendment) Bill states, “A person is not eligible for nomination as a candidate for the office of President if that person has been formally charged in a court of law for an offense relating to corruption or economic offenses and the case is dismissed.” not finalized.” 2021.


Article 99 of the Constitution disqualifies a person from being elected a Member of Parliament if that person is, on the date of registration as a candidate, or on the date of the election, subject to a sentence of imprisonment of not less than six months.


However, there is a condition in the law that a person cannot be disqualified until all possibility of appeal or review of sentence has been exhausted.

This loophole has allowed persons accused of offenses to seek alternative seats, irrespective of the cases pending in the court.

Candidates for political seats have also invoked the principle of presumption of innocence to obtain clearances from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Free Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Legal theory holds that a person accused of any crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty. As such, a prosecutor is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed the offense if that person is to be convicted.

The bill, sponsored by Yugunja MP Opio Wandayi, seeks to amend sections 23, 24 and 25 of the Election Act.

Around 15 serving MPs are facing court cases related to corruption and other economic offenses.


For example, Syria’s MP John Waluke is out on bond after pleading guilty to the National Grains and Production Board (NCPB) for an illegal acquisition of Rs 297 million through a dubious maize supply deal.

Lugari MP Ayub Savula is facing charges of fraudulently receiving Sh122 million from the Government Advertising Agency (GAA), while Kibwezi West MP Patrick Musimba is accused of stealing Sh1.1 billion from Chase Bank. Nandi Hills MP Alfred Ketter is facing several cases related to the counterfeiting of 633 million Treasury bills.

Nyeri MP Rigathi Gachagua and eight of his business associates have also been charged with alleged fraudulent acquisition of public funds and conspiracy to defraud the Nyeri county government of Rs 27.4 million.


The eight include Mr. Gachagua’s close aide and Mathira National Government-Constituency Development Fund manager William Wahom Mwangi, who is also the chairman of the Tana Water Works Development Agency.

The proposed amendments to the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012 provide for the temporary suspension of a state or public official who has been charged with corruption or other serious offenses related to corruption.


“A state officer who is formally charged in court shall cease to perform the functions of the office until the finalization of the court case,” the bill states.

Mr. Vandayi said that the best way to stop corruption is to stop corrupt people from going to public office.

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