Jump to navigation

Quiet diplomacy doesn't work for sacked official

A legal challenge has been filed against the decision to recall Mathuki

The backlash against the East African Community's former Secretary-General Peter Mathuki, who was quietly axed by Kenyan President William Ruto earlier this month after EAC lawmakers moved impeachment motions against him over the alleged misappropriation of US$6 million from the bloc's budget, continues (Dispatches, 12/3/24, To Russia without impeachment).

In a bid to minimise diplomatic embarrassment, Ruto nimbly moved Mathuki after it became clear that the impeachment proceedings against him were moving quickly, announcing that Mathuki, who was picked by Ruto's predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta, would become the new ambassador to Russia as part of a series of new diplomatic appointments.

A letter to Deng Alor Kuol, the South Sudanese chair of the EAC's Council of Ministers, from Kenya's cabinet secretary Peninah Malonza replacing Mathuki with Caroline Mueke, dated 15 March, states that Mathuki 'is now to serve the Republic in a different capacity'.

However, the inquiries by members of the East African Legislative Assembly have continued, and indicate that the EAC's Peace Facility account, designed for funds to be spent on the EAC's defence and security operations in eastern Congo-Kinshasa, had been opened without approval.

Meanwhile, a legal challenge to Ruto's decision to recall Mathuki has been filed at the East African Court of Justice, arguing that due process requires that inquiries into the allegations be completed. For its part, the Pan African Lawyers Union has warned that Ruto's recall could set a precedent for other heads of state to withdraw their people holding transnational posts for political reasons.

Mathuki has pleaded his innocence, commenting in a press statement that 'there has never been any adverse audit reports on his part or the Secretariat' during his tenure and adding that the EAC Council of Ministers 'always gives prior approval on expenditure of funds of the Community'.

 



Related Articles

Scrambling for a Pax Swahili

Kenya's entry into the Congolese crucible is driven more by hopes of diplomatic and commercial gains than military adventurism

It is hanging by a thread. A truce, signed in Luanda with only the tacit participation of the principal antagonist, guaranteed by a phone call between Kenya's former President Uhur...


Birthday blues

This year the East African Community marks its 20th birthday and tries to defend its reputation as the continent's most effective regional economic grouping. This role is all the m...


Bigger promises, smaller budgets

As the finance ministers in Uganda and Tanzania prepare their national budget statements for 14 June, they are likely to include references to their commitment to a single currency...


Club of rivals

A successful club always attracts new members. That appears to be the rationale behind Congo-Kinshasa being fast-tracked to become the latest member of the East African Community i...