Rights agency asks court to clarify integrity rule

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has sought an opinion from the Supreme Court on whether people who have been convicted of offences in the past should be allowed to run for political seats.

The agency wants the court to clarify the matter after the High Court and Court of Appeal issued conflicting positions while interpreting Chapter Six of the Constitution, which focuses on integrity.

According to KNCHR, the High Court and Court of Appeal have shied away from giving a proper interpretation to the law while determining related cases.

“The Supreme Court needs to clarify the proper test for leadership under the Constitution in light of the confusion that has built on the issue,” KNCHR said in the court papers Friday.

The commission said the advisory opinion was crucial in light of the fact that 2017 is an election year.

“Some of the persons who have offered themselves for election in have been convicted of offences, which involve misuse or misappropriation of public funds or other heinous crimes that negatively impact on their integrity,” the organisation said.

It added that some aspirants have been found by courts to have been involved in gross misconduct, by way of their professional, business or private life.

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