UDA’s Move: A Throwback to the Dark Days of Kanu Era?

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UDA’s Move: A Throwback to the Dark Days of Kanu Era?

The appointment of Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) head Anthony Mwaura to monitor President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) grassroots elections serves as a frightening reminder of the dirty politics of the Kanu era.

Since 1992, when Kenya abolished its one-party system and transitioned to multi-party democracy, there has been a clear distinction between those in public office and those in political posts.

This was enhanced in 2010 with the publication of the current Constitution, which prohibits state officials from participating or intervening in politics. Since 2010, the nation has benefited greatly from the separation of party politics and public posts, which protected civil workers from political intervention and influence.

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The 2010 Constitution establishes a professional civil service guided by honesty, objectivity, and political neutrality.

However, in a precedent-setting move, the UDA named Mwaura as chair of the party’s National Elections Board (NEB) and KPLC chairwoman Joy Mdivo as head of the Electoral Disputes Resolution Committee for its elections, which will take place from April 26 to August 24.

The selection of the two raises serious concerns about their positions as public servants who are required to provide services to all Kenyans, regardless of political affiliation, while also participating actively in party politics.

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Ruto and his counselors should be aware of the Public officials Ethics Act, which prohibits public officials from interfering in politics.

In paragraph (1) of section 16 of the Act, it states: “A public officer shall not, in or in connection with the performance of his duties as such- (a) act as an agent for, or so as to further the interest of, a political party; or (b) indicate support for or opposition to any political party or candidate in an election.”

According to sub-section (2), a public servant must not participate in political action that may or seems to threaten his office’s political impartiality.

The Public official Ethics Act is based on Chapter 77 (2), which specifies that “any appointed State officer shall not hold office in a political party.”

The appointments also serve as a reminder to Kenyans who lived during the Kanu period of how Moi’s government utilized the civil service to remove politicians with whom he disagreed via the notorious mlolongo and persecution.

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UDA’s Move: A Throwback to the Dark Days of Kanu Era?

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