Kivutha Kibwana, Charles Kanjama in race to succeed Eliud Wabukala

Kivutha Kibwana

The then Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana delivers his addres during a Narc Kenya party function at Sarova Panafric in Nairobi on November 13, 2020. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Former Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana and senior counsel Charles Kanjama are among the 14 persons shortlisted to succeed Archbishop Eliud Wabukala at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

In the shortlisting by the Public Service Commission (PSC) are also David Oginde, the immediate former presiding bishop of Christ is the Answer Ministries (Citam), and Thomas Letangule, a former commission of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Dr Wabukala's tenure as chairperson of the anti-graft agency came to an end mid last month after a six-year-term.

The retired Anglican Church of Kenya archbishop took over after  Philip Kinisu stepped down in 2017 following overwhelming corruption allegations.

The succession race attracted 89 applicants but the PSC narrowed the list down to just 14, whose interviews will take place next Monday and Tuesday.

Prof Kibwana joined President William Ruto's Kenya Kwanza Alliance (KKA) after Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya Coalition lost the contest for the top seat in the 2022 August General Election.

Last November, the former Makueni governor announced that he was quitting elective politics.

"When Father Pius Kyule started evangelism in 1977, I started teaching at the university. As the Father was speaking, it hit me that age has caught up with me and that, just like him, it was time I retired honorably. With 45 years of public service, I have quit elective politics so that I focus on other things," he said then.

However, it later emerged that Mr Kibwana was angling for a State job.

The politician was one of the lawyers who defended Dr Ruto's election victory at the Supreme Court.

Prof Kibwana vied for the Makueni senatorial seat under the Muungano Party of Kenya but lost to Wiper party's Dan Maanzo.

Others shortlisted for the EACC chairperson post include Benjamin Mweri, Abdihafid Yarow, Amani Komora, Eliud Ngige, Susan Ngera, Josiah Onyancha, Norah Mutai, Kenneth Buliba and Justa Mwangi.

According to PSC chairperson Anthony Muchiri, Kenyans have until Friday to submit their petitions on the applicants’ suitability for the office.