Anti-Corruption Watchdog Investigates Integrity Concerns of Kenya’s US Ambassadorial Nominee Kerich


The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has expressed reservations regarding David Kiplagat Kerich’s suitability for the Ambassadorial position in Washington DC, USA.

The commission through a recommendation to the National Assembly Committee on Defence, Intelligence, and Foreign Relations committee stated that there is an active investigation against Kiplagat.

“We have received a letter from EACC indicating you were under investigation and your file was submitted to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP),” said the Committee Chair and Belgut Member of Parliament Nelson Koech who however allowed the Nominee to make his submissions.

During his vetting, Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan questioned why the nominee could not wait to dispense with the case before taking up the diplomatic assignment.

“Your image is already tarnished. Your integrity is being questioned. Is it not better for you to deal with your integrity issues first instead of taking that damaged image to Washington, DC? Because you’re not going to be an effective representative of Kenya with your integrity questions?” posed Yusuf.

Kerich, a lawyer and former Baringo County Assembly Speaker, was further scrutinized due to an adverse report from the EACC linking him to irregularities in a Ksh 100 million rehabilitation project in Baringo County.

Fredrick Lusuli, MP for Shinyalu, pressed on the issue: “Mr. Kerich, how do you respond to the allegations of irregularities in the Baringo project?”

David Kiplagat Kerich responded unequivocally: “I am innocent of any wrongdoing and will cooperate fully with any investigations.”

Lack of diplomatic experience

MP Yusuf further compounded Kerich’s case when he questioned his lack of diplomatic experience, pointing out that “the ambassador to Washington DC is one of the appointments any diplomat would want to get. It is where capitals send their most senior and best diplomats.”

“I look at your CV and you’re completely underwhelming. You have no diplomatic experience. You’re not a diplomat yet you have been elevated to the peak of diplomatic posting. Do you have what it takes to represent Kenya in Washington, DC?” asked the Kamukunji legislator.

“It is true I have never been a diplomat but I have the knowledge and experience. I studied public international law module at university in my degree. I am not that green in diplomacy. It is a matter of knowledge,” the nominee answered.

“This is not a one-man show. Washington is led by a team of qualified Kenyans who work together. I will be there to offer guidance. I have the ability to learn and seek guidance and this will help me play the role of a Kenyan diplomat to the USA,” he added.

During his vetting, the lawmakers acknowledged the importance of the USA as a strategic partner through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which is Kenya’s biggest export market.

Kiplagat said he will leverage the trade agreement and increase export volumes.

“We can sensitize our farmers and traders on AGOA as well as take advantage of the export processing zone to promote the apparel sector,” he said.

Mr. Kerich was previously nominated by the president for the moribund CAS position for mining.

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