Judiciary vetting to fight graft, says PLO

September 22, 2010 12:00 am

, NAKURU, Kenya, Sep 22 – The vetting of judges and other provisions in the new Constitution will be key in the fight against corruption.

Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) Director Dr PLO Lumumba said that the vetting exercise was useful in cleaning up the Judiciary’s image.

Dr Lumumba said that the exercise is going to improve the administration of justice and ensure the country has the best judges and magistrates.

“Judges must be beyond reproach and it is going to ensure that we have the best judges but that is not to say there are no good judges currently serving,” he said.

He made the remarks during a workshop on challenges in the Investigations, Prosecution and Adjudication of Anti Corruption and Economic Crimes Offence in Nakuru.

The anti graft chief said that following the promulgation of the Constitution, the Judiciary will be reconstituted and the prosecution arm professionalised.

“It is believed there will be better investigations and the new Constitution will re-engineer the Judiciary,” he added.

Participants at the three-day workshop include state law officers, police prosecutors, magistrates, judges and KACC lawyers and investigators.

Mr Lumumba said that the forum will enable prosecutors to evaluate challenges hindering effective prosecution of cases.

“Out of 10 cases we get eight acquittals and we should ask ourselves where the weak link is,” he added. Attorney General Amos Wako said the new Constitution provides an excellent basis to combat corruption in all its forms and wherever it is to be found.

In a speech read on his behalf by Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Oriri Onyango, the AG said the new law would reinvigorate the manner in which law and justice operate in the country.

Mr Wako however said that the new law also poses complex challenges and it will no longer be business as usual.

"Needless to say this will call upon all of us particularly those involved in the administration of justice to assume a completely new way of both viewing and addressing issues,” the AG said.

Mr Wako said that over the years, policy makers have regarded corruption to be a function of enforcement only, leading to a plethora of laws and agencies aimed at penal action.

“Better research has shown that such measures are woefully inadequate and in concentrating on enforcement not much attention has been paid on addressing the underlying causes or the systematic weaknesses on which corruption thrives,” he added.

He said the Constitution has addressed the major gaps, which the UN Convention on Anti Corruption noted required attention.

"The Constitution provision will go to underpin new legislation targeted at beefing up all efforts aimed at defeating the spectre of corruption and economic crime,” the AG said.


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