Kenyan MPs pass bill empowering parliament to remove Attorney General

By Wilfred Ayaga, 7 April
Logo of Office of Kenyan Attorney General and Department of Justice
Logo of Office of Kenyan Attorney General and Department of Justice

MPs have passed a Bill that takes away the Attorney General's privilege of serving at the pleasure of the President. If the Bill becomes law, the AG will now be answerable and serving at the discretion of Parliament and he can be hounded out of office in a similar fashion as heads of other constitutional offices such as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

Curiously, the Office of the Attorney General (Amendment) Bill, 2017 leaves out the Solicitor General from this provision, effectively making him the only State officer that serves at the pleasure of the President.

"The principal object of the Bill is to make provisions to provide for mechanisms for the removal of the Attorney General.  The Constitution establishes the office of the AG as the principal legal adviser to the Government. The principal Act provides for only one mechanism for the removal of the AG by the President, the appointing authority, under whose pleasure the AG serves. This amendment seeks to safeguard the National Assembly's role in reviewing the conduct of State officers and initiating the process of removing them from office," reads the Bill by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee.

To remove the AG from office, anyone can petition Parliament, which will then form a select committee to investigate the claims in the petition. 

Standard Media

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