Cheserem: Kenya needs leaders with integrity at all levels
The media have been asked to be at the forefront in educating Kenyans about the calibre of leaders required to take the country forward.
Micah Cheserem, the chairman of the Commission on Revenue Allocation, said it was critical that Kenyans understood Chapter Six of the Constitution on Leadership and Integrity.
Lamenting poor leadership, he asked voters to make a break with the past by electing visionary and transformative leaders during the General Election.
“As Kenya turns 50 next year, and given our history, we should have done better. Kenya has performed way below its potential because of many factors. But the major one is poor leadership not at all levels,” said Mr Cheserem.
“And because of that, corruption has crept into every sphere of society, including the media. That is why we thought of Chapter Six given the integrity of the people we are going to elect,” said Cheserem when he visited the Standard Group Centre where he met editors and senior journalists.
Mr Cheserem called on the media to scrutinise those standing for elective posts, especially those gunning for president and governorship, saying the President and the 47 governors held the key to the future.
“Go 20 years back on the lives of these persons (running for office and reveal them) without scandalising them,” said Cheserem.
The Standard Group Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Paul Melly said the media group would not defend corrupt leaders and would proactively engage and facilitate a process that will ensure the defence of the Constitution.
“Our role is to defend public interest and when those who are managing public resources are found to have engaged in activities inconsistent with the existing Constitution, we will be the first to bring it up,” Mr Melly said.
“When the MPs choose to use their privileged position to protect what is clearly vested interest, it is our duty to tell Kenyans to be aware of those involved so that they will never have an opportunity to see the inside of Parliament again,” he said.
“As far as the subject of Integrity is concerned and the implementation of Chapter Six, all of us will play an important role as the media in interrogating our leaders and more importantly setting the agenda,” Melly added.
Melly said Kenyans do not want to see most of the governors taken to court on corruption charges in the first, as happened in Nigeria.
Cheserem said it would be costly if Kenyans did not elect women in line with the constitutional provision that not more than two-thirds of members should be one gender.
“While the number of MPs is pegged at 290, the number of women elected must meet the requirements of Article 27. There is no article that covers Parliament on women but if the women are less, then you must nominate them,” said Cheserem.
Article 27(8) of the Constitution, which is within the Chapter on the Bills of Rights, prescribes that the state shall take legislative and other measures to implement this principle.
“If you fail to elect the required number of women, consequently the wage bill will increase for the additional number of women you will have nominated. That is why is important for Kenyans to know that they must elect women in the coming elections.”
Cheserem said the provision was critical, because it required the state to be proactive in creating the necessary legislative and policy framework to ensure the realisation of the principle.
By Luke Anami, The Standard
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