Pressure Group Wants Kenya Anti-Graft Chief Fired
Pressure Group Wants Kenya Anti-Graft Chief Fired

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki is scheduled to hold discussions with embattled anti-corruption czar Justice Aaron Ringera today (Wednesday) in the capital, Nairobi. 

<!-- IMAGE -->

Ringera came under intense criticism from both local and the international community after President Kibaki re-appointed him for a second term. 

Parliamentarians unanimously rejected the reappointment, describing it as illegal and an affront to the legislature.

Ringera has often been accused of failing to prosecute high government officials suspected of graft, a charge he denies. 

Okia Omtata, the chairman of Kenyans for Democracy and Justice, a non-governmental pressure group said that his organization will force Ringera out of office if he refuses to resign.

"I hope it results in Mr. Ringera stopping pretending that he is in office legally because the reappointment that puts him in office was a complete breach of the law," Omtata said.

He condemned President Kibaki's appointment of Ringera for a second term as chief of the anti-graft body.

"We don't recognize it. We know that he (Ringera) is trying to get a send home package saying his second term has been interfered with and he is entitled to compensation. Some figures are being put as 150 million Kenyan shillings ($1,997,337). But e are saying that that is not acceptable," he said.

<!-- IMAGE -->

Omtata said the anti-graft chief should be removed from office.

"This guy, his term expired, he was smuggled into office and as far as we are concerned he is contraband. He should not be in office, he should be out of office," Omtata said.

He said President Tandja should advertize the position of the anti-corruption chief to make it more competition.

"We hope that the president saves face by getting this man to step aside. So, that the job can be re-advertized and if he is still interested in the job he applies for it. If the advisory board approves him and the parliament also approves him then the president can nominate him into office," he said.

Omtata said his organization is organizing a protest march to demand Ringera's resignation.

"We are calling for a nationwide demonstration on Thursday. We have already sent out notification to the police, and we don't expect any interference from the police because we are going to confront them because if he (Ringera) doesn't go we are going to evict him," Omtata said.

He said his organization will ensure the rule of law is upheld.

"Kenya is a republic, it is not an estate. So, being a republic it must be governed by a reducible minimum, one of which is the rule of law," he said.

Omtata denounced speculations suggesting that Ringera deserves compensation for his work.

"It is as good as Aaron Ringera claiming that he has got a title deed to an acre of land on the moon. What can he do with it?" Omtata asked.

<!-- IMAGE -->

He accused the president of not being truthful to Kenyans, a charge President Kibaki has denied.

"What is happening is that the president wants to pack the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Commission with gate keepers who will protect him and his corrupt allies in business and politics from prosecution. So, he is hanging by the skin of his teeth on saying the law, the law, the law," he said.

Meanwhile, Washington questioned the rationale behind President Kibaki's re-appointment of Justice Aaron Ringera.

The U.S Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger was quoted as saying the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission performed badly in the five years of its existence with Justice Ringera as director. He also faulted President Kibaki for reappointing him.

<!-- IMAGE -->