NAIROBI FEBRUARY 20, 2012/.. International Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC) is alarmed by a building momentum spearheaded by a group of Members of Parliament determined to consign the rule of law and ethical leadership to the graveyard in complete disregard of high standard of ethics and integrity enshrined in the Constitution.
In particular, the Center is taken aback by the disingenuous criticism and vitriol directed at the Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs and Civil Society over their position that Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr. William Ruto and others respect and uphold the national integrity and values system enshrined in the Constitution and public institutions. This group of MPs is a serious threat to embryonic rule of law, social cohesion and national integrity system.
It is astonishing for someone claiming to enjoy public legitimacy and credibility to desperately engage in outright lying, misleading and distorting facts with intention of coercing and manipulating people to silence and submission of undemocratic political edict.
ICPC emphasizes that civil servants and public officials are expected to maintain and strengthen the public's trust and confidence in public institutions by demonstrating the highest standards of professional competence, efficiency and effectiveness, upholding the Constitution and the laws, and seeking to advance the public good at all times.
Further, we observe that a significant number of Kenyan Members of Parliament, being holders of public office, are yet to demonstrate and deliver higher standards of ethicality and integrity in the office they hold and conduct of public affairs. There is increasing impatience by ordinary citizens and civil society who want to see institutionalized national integrity systems, values-based governance and an end to corrupt systems of the past.
We are encouraged that though the old order is determined to resist change, the resistance is being thwarted by spirited public efforts that are making it costly. These efforts need consolidation and sustained support at national and county levels.
Further, there is concurrence of processes all with strong messages of change and new expectations. While significant progress has been made in developing effective civil service ethics, codes of conduct, transparency measures and integrity systems, there is now a need to concentrate in addressing directly problems of internalizing and enforcing integrity and ethics in democratic government and the civil service.
Specifically, ICPC calls for urgent sanctions and measures of thwarting threats to ethics standards and integrity in the public service sector; strengthening the ethical competence of civil servants and mechanisms to support professional ethics; and developing administrative practices and processes which promote ethical values and integrity. This is crucial in entrenching an ‘ethical culture’ which supports professional responsibility, self-discipline and support for the rule of law.
ICPC is calling upon the people of Kenya not to discard the spirit and letter of Constitution. This is the single most important instrument that will support [them] to usher ethical leadership, and guarantee transparency and accountability in management of public affairs.
Signs are crystal clear on who supports the rule of law and values enshrined in the Constitution and those with historical record of vehemently resisting these values and are determined to disregard them up to now.