AG to assist pyramid scheme victims trace money

November 24, 2011 3:37 pm


Attorney General Githu Muigai/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 24 – Attorney General Githu Muigai has undertaken to set up a taskforce within his office to help victims of pyramid schemes trace their lost billions.

Muigai told Parliament that his office will provide the requisite resources including legal counsels to conduct independent efforts for recovery.

“The task force I am forming is not to investigate this matter further. I want to assist victims and their organisations to bring court action for recovery,” said Muigai.

The AG made the commitment before the House after Members of Parliament put him and the government to task to over failure to assist victims recover their money despite recommendations by a government taskforce on the matter.

Earlier, MPs led by Charles Kilonzo (Yatta) accused the AG of hiding behind the newly found independence of the Director of Public Prosecution to withhold answers to the House.

This was after Muigai told the House that decision that the DPP had taken in term of prosecuting 35 directors of various pyramid schemes was final and could not be questioned.

He said only five cases were in court and that the constitution did not authorise the AG to supervise the DPP.

“I am unable to improve on this answer… I am not unfortunately authorised by the law to supervise his (DPP)operations. If the House decides I will be very happy to assume those issues.”

William Kabogo (Juja) protested at the AG’s response wondering how the House would be able to interrogate issues under the DPP if he could give “can answer whatever he deems fit” to the House. “We need to make an amendment so that AG can answer House questions to satisfaction.”

However, Muigai said that until an amendment is made, the House will have to contend with the status quo.

“There seems to be a misapprehension that the DPP is required to prosecute each and every person against whom a complaint is made. That is not the law. The prosecutor enjoys discretion of prosecution. The prosecutor does not prosecute every case.”

Boni Khalwale (Ikolomani) wondered why the government had not made any efforts to seize the property of some of the directors who the Nyenze Taskforce found to own vast wealth.

Millie Odhiambo (Nominated) contended that Article 23 (3) of the Constitution provided that a court can give an order for compensation.

“I don’t know of any method that I can use to compensate people who have lost in this case. It is the responsibility of the public to take precaution. It is highly unreasonable for the public to expect that a government is sort of insurer of last resort .What I can undertake to do is try and coordinate a concerted effort to find a civil remedy.”


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