African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

Kibaki rejects changes to law – a step he has taken is good for the country

Posted by African Press International on September 28, 2007

Story by JONATHAN KONUCHE and PPS
Publication Date: 9/28/2007

President Mwai Kibaki has declined to assent to some of the amendments contained in the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2007.

The specific amendments to the Bill that the President turned down include changes to the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003, and amendments to the Public Officer Ethics Act 2003.

Attorney-General Amos Wako forwarded the amendments to the President Kibaki on Thursday evening.

Consequently, President Kibaki has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Francis ole Kaparo, giving his reasons for the rejection and recommending his views on the amendments.

Mid this month, opposition MPs and some back-benchers united in pushing through a proviso to the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act that would have barred the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission from investigating crimes committed before the law came into effect.

Had it sailed through, it would have meant that the commission could not use the provisions in its Act to investigate the Goldenberg scandal, which is estimated to have cost the taxpayer Sh58 billion, and some Anglo Leasing type contracts signed before May 2, 2003.

The commission, headed by Mr Justice (rtd) Aaron Ringera, would have relied on the provisions of fighting economic crimes in the Penal Code to tackle corruption

The MPs had also rejected a raft of amendments that the commission had wanted passed by Parliament to give it more power to expedite the cases it was working on and widen its net in catching the corrupt.

Different reactions

Parliaments passing of the amendment had elicited different reactions, with members of the civil society, the public and some embassies condemning the move, saying it would give amnesty to looters.

Meanwhile, President Kibaki has assented into law the Media Bill 2007 and the Tobacco Control Bill 2007.

The Media Bill had been returned to Parliament when the President declined to approve it, saying it be amended to respect freedom of the media. The clause, which could have been used to compel journalists to disclose confidential sources of stories, was deleted from the Bill.

Lifted and published by Korir, API*APN source.nation.ke

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