Members of parliament and senate at the parliament gallery during the opening of the 11th parliament.
Members of parliament and senate at the parliament gallery during the opening of the 11th parliament.
Image: FILE

By Correspondent

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has launched investigations to ascertain public officers holding dual citizenship.

Chief Executive Officer Twalib Mbarak said the commission will take action against those who will be found to have violated Article 78 of the Constitution.

Mbarak in a press statement on Thursday said such action will include initiating mechanisms for removal from office for violating the Leadership and Integrity Act.

The move comes after MPs last month asked the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the EACC to investigate state officers suspected of being dual citizens.

They claimed a number of state officers, some approved by Parliament, are citizens of other countries contrary to the law.

The matter arose during a debate on whether Mwende Mwinzi should be posted as Kenya’s ambassador to Seoul, Korea, yet she also holds US citizenship.

Katoo Ole Metito, chairman of Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, made the call amid claims a number of Principal Secretaries, Cabinet Secretaries, Governors, and MPs hold dual citizenship.

Parliament is yet to crack the puzzle of the law stipulating that an applicant with dual citizenship is required to renounce his/her citizenship before their appointment.

Mahamud Sirat – also an Australian, and Miguna Miguna – also Canadian, are among Kenyans whose citizenship have been upheld by the court after their status was challenged.

But EACC said whereas the Constitution provides for the right to acquire dual citizenship, the same is prohibited for state and public officers save for a certain category including judges, members of commissions or any person who has been made a citizen of another country’s law, without ability to opt out.

“EACC will continue to escalate the war against both corruption and unethical conduct in line with Chapter Six of the Constitution, the Leadership, Integrity and other laws,” Mbarak said.

He added, “We urge Kenyans to support the commission in this endeavour so as to ensure servant and transformative leadership that will in turn ensure effective, efficient, transparent and accountable service delivery for the benefit of all”.