NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 29 – Attorney General Githu Muigai on Monday took over the reins of the State Law Office after being sworn in at State House Nairobi.
Prof Muigai who succeeded the longest serving Attorney General in Africa and the Commonwealth – Amos Wako – promised to ensure that the cold cases of Anglo Leasing and Goldenberg were concluded.
He said that he would take time to familiarise himself with the progress made in each of the cases and seek mutual legal assistance with foreign countries when need arose.
“We need to remember that this is a fight that has to be fought from very many sides and in that respect I quite sympathise with my predecessor because if one person is singled out to carry the burden of that fight then there may be a sense of unfairness,” he argued.
He also said that he would be able to advise the government on its quest to challenge the admissibility of the International Criminal Court (ICC) case involving six Kenyans who are accused of perpetrating the post election violence, after the court’s ruling on August 30.
However when he appeared before the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee last week, he said that he would advise the government to cooperate with the ICC processes.
“There’s a ruling tomorrow by the court and that is the point at which we will seek advice from the barristers, who are giving us counsel. We will then digest the advice and advise the President and Prime Minister accordingly,” he said.
Mr Wako defended his tenure in office saying he had been instrumental in brokering constitutional reforms that saw Kenya transformed into a multiparty state among other historical developments.
He added that the country managed to beat the constitutional deadline under his guidance. However the passage into law of key Bills that were required by August 27 had begun raising concerns with various players arguing that it was being rushed.
The Cabinet was at one point criticised for delaying the Bills until the last minute with sceptics saying that the country risked passing shoddy Bills just to beat the deadline.
Mr Wako however remained optimistic that the laws passed were of good quality and that they would facilitate key reforms.
“Over 25 legislations have been passed since the promulgation of the Constitution and we have been at the centre of all that. So any one who says that I had been doing it just to leave a clean record is wrong,” he maintained.
He further blamed the courts and the police for hampering the war against graft saying that they did not pull their weight. Mr Wako argued that while his office played its part in the Anglo leasing scam, the Court issued an injunction stopping further investigation and the Police failed to collect enough evidence.
He however noted that the court injunction had been lifted and that the prosecution of the Anglo Leasing case had started again.
“The sins of the investigator cannot be visited on the Prosecutor and the Attorney General is just a Prosecutor. If the investigator does not do his work to get credible evidence that will prosecute someone you don’t blame the Prosecutor,” he argued.
Mr Wako also listed the post election violence and the political setbacks against constitutional reforms as his lowest moments during his 20 year tenure.
Prof Muigai also reiterated his past statements on the Constitution saying he would advise against amending it.