Sifuna explains contention around Conflict of Interest Bill

Sifuna explains contention around Conflict of Interest Bill

Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna. | FILE

Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna has criticised the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) for what he describes as sensationalising the debate around the Conflict of Interest Bill, 2024.

The proposed law to be administered by EACC seeks to reduce the risk of corruption, favouritism and bias in the public service by ensuring no public or state officers are involved in matters that conflict of interest.

In an interview on Spice FM on Wednesday, Sifuna dismissed the corruption watchdog’s claim that senators have removed clauses from the Bill which will impede the war on graft.

Instead, Sifuna explained that conflict of interest in public service is covered by multiple acts in the Constitution, which he described as redundant.

According to the senator, the amendments are meant to consolidate the laws into a single law by deleting some clauses to avoid ambiguity and repetition, without exempting anyone from legal scrutiny or punishment.

“When you come up with a law specifically to deal with conflict of interest, you will see references to deletion of clauses in other laws,” Sifuna said.

Among the laws proposed for deletion is Section 42 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act which governs the prosecution of public officers involved in conflict of interest like trading with the government.

“EACC claims that because of these Senate amendments, the war on graft is lost… if anything we do not need the bill. The problem with Kenya is not the absence of laws. Even with existing laws, what EACC should be telling us is where we need to tighten to better implement these things,” added Sifuna.

He argued that this section is vague, as it does not explicitly define an agent and a principal. Sifuna said the proposed law seeks to clarify who is liable and for what.

The senator cited Section 11 of the Public Officer Act, which prohibits public officers from using their positions for personal enrichment, and Section 46 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, which similarly states that using one’s office to improperly benefit oneself or others is an offence.

“We have invited EACC to the Senate for a conversation to convince us of the need for all these duplicitous laws to exist,” said Sifuna.

Senators on May 16 voted to amend the Conflict of Interest Bill, 2023, a move seen as watering down of the Constitution’s stringent clauses governing graft. 

Sifuna himself received backlash for voting in support of the Bill.


Citizen TV Edwin Sifuna EACC Citizen Digital Conflict of Interest Bill 2023

Want to send us a story? SMS to 25170 or WhatsApp 0743570000 or Submit on Citizen Digital or email

Leave a Comment


No comments yet.

latest stories