A section of Kenyan youths now wants aspirants with questionable characters barred from participating in the August General Election.
In a statement to newsrooms on Tuesday, the Notable National Youth Leaders Caucus said those seeking public office must pass the leadership and integrity test, behave in a manner that brings honour and dignity to the office both in public and private, and promote public confidence.
Alex Matere, the lobby group’s national convener, said the 2010 Constitution has given vetting and clearance powers to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI), hence those who fail the integrity test should not be on the ballot.
According to Marete, there is an increasing concern over persons seeking elective seats in the August polls with some on the list facing various criminal cases in courts, including corruption.
“We have observed that some with unparalleled mastery in con artistry, scammers, fraudsters drug dealers, murderers, snake oil salesmen and social misfits have mutated to political aspirants
with a clear chance to public office in the coming election,” he said.
“…if something is not done then the ballot paper will look like a criminal charge sheet complete with mugshots.”
Notably, some of the individuals eyeing elective seats in August include former governors Mike Sonko (Nairobi) and Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu), who were kicked out of office over abuse of office and graft.
The lobby group indicated that some politicians like Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi who has a pending case in court over forgery of academic papers should not be cleared to defend his seat.
“NNYLC calls upon primary vetting agencies namely the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to bar such candidates,” he added.
“We must be steadfast in protecting and safeguarding the democratic and governance gains achieved least we surrender our country to the mafia to run.”
The Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions said recently that suspects who have not been convicted will be cleared to run for public office.