Kenyan Constitution, Chapter Fifteen, Article 251 to 254

By Juma Fred / December 23, 2016

Commissions and Independent Offices

Article 251: Removal from office

(1) A member of a commission (other than an ex officio member), or the holder of an independent office, may be removed from office only for–

(a) serious violation of this Constitution or any other law, including a contravention of Chapter Six;
(b) gross misconduct, whether in the performance of the member’s or office holder’s functions or otherwise;
(c) physical or mental incapacity to perform the functions of office;
(d) incompetence; or
(e) bankruptcy.

(2) A person desiring the removal of a member of a commission or of a holder of an independent office on any ground specified in clause (1) may present a petition to the National Assembly setting out the alleged facts constituting that ground.
(3) The National Assembly shall consider the petition and, if it is satisfied that it discloses a ground under clause (1), shall send the petition to the President.
(4) On receiving a petition under clause (3), the President–

(a) may suspend the member or office holder pending the outcome of the complaint; and
(b) shall appoint a tribunal in accordance with clause (5).

(5) The tribunal shall consist of–

(a) a person who holds or has held office as a judge of a superior court, who shall be the chairperson;
(b) at least two persons who are qualified to be appointed as High Court judges; and
(c) one other member who is qualified to assess the facts in respect of the particular ground for removal.

(6) The tribunal shall investigate the matter expeditiously, report on the facts and make a binding recommendation to the President, who shall act in accordance with the recommendation within thirty days.
(7) A person suspended under this Article is entitled to continue to receive one-half of the remuneration and benefits of the office while suspended.

Article 252: General Functions and powers

(1) Each commission, and each holder of an independent office–

(a) may conduct investigations on its own initiative or on a complaint made by a member of the public; 
(b) has the powers necessary for conciliation, mediation and negotiation;
(c) shall recruit its own staff; and
(d) may perform any functions and exercise any powers prescribed by legislation, in addition to the functions and powers conferred by this Constitution.

(2) A complaint to a commission or the holder of an independent office may be made by any person entitled to institute court proceedings under Article 22 (1) and (2).
(3) The following commissions and independent offices have the power to issue a summons to a witness to assist for the purposes of its investigations–

(a) the Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission;
(b) the Judicial Service Commission;
(c) the National Land Commission; and
(d) the Auditor-General.

Article 253: Incorporation of commissioners and independent offices

Each commission and each independent office–
(a) is a body corporate with perpetual succession and a seal;
(b) is capable of suing and being sued in its corporate name.

Article 254: Reporting by commissions and independent offices

(1) As soon as practicable after the end of each financial year, each commission, and each holder of an independent office,shall submit a report to the President and to Parliament.
(2) At any time, the President, the National Assembly or the Senate may require a commission or holder of an independent office to submit a report on a particular issue.
(3) Every report required from a commission or holder of an independent office under this Article shall be published and publicized.

Related: Kenyan Constitution, Chapter Fifteen, Article 248 to 250


About Juma Fred

Juma Fredrick is an enthusiastic journalist who believes that journalism has power to change the world either negatively or positively depending on how one uses it. You can reach him on: (020) 528 0222 or Email: [email protected]

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