, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26 – President Uhuru Kenyatta’s choice for the post of Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji says he will not be swayed by political affiliations because he is related to Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji.
He told the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly that he will be guided by the Constitution in implementing his agenda at the ODPP.
“I am here today not because of my father Yusuf Haji who is Senator of Garissa County but because of the hard work I have put in place for years and my integrity,” he said.
Haji who is a Deputy Director at the National Intelligence Services pledged that if confirmed he will work for the people of Kenya.
“l want to speak to the Kenyan People, l will always be on your side! If confirmed, I will strive to be the Director of Public Prosecutions that you deserve and my pledge is to lead the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution in honouring my oath of service every single day that l will be in office. The Constitution will be my guide,” he stated.
He said that he will also strive to create synergies within the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions that will aim to bring accountability especially in the justice system.
“I will be keen on re-casting, re-tooling and re-learning within the ODPP to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and accountability,” the nominee told the MPs.
“For re-Casting, I envisage a 3C’s approach of collaboration, cooperation and coordination, the purpose of which will be to re-shape how ODPP operates. With this, Hon. Members, I intend to create synergies that will work seamlessly to bring about an efficient, effective and accountable institution that is critical within the criminal justice system.”
MPs were split on whether he should publicly declare his net wealth with Uasin Gishu County Woman Representative Gladys Shollei terming it an invasion of privacy but Nominated MP Jennifer Shamalla and Kisumu Town West MP Olago Aluoch said the disclosure is a requirement for all public servants to be transparent in their dealings to prevent conflict of interest.
Haji said he would do so once he is confirmed for the position.
“Considering that am an intelligence officer and until am confirmed for this position, issues of my financial worth can be used against me as an intelligence officer. Once I am confirmed I will be more than willing to declare my worth,” he added.
Committee Chairman William Cheptumo ruled that the self-valuation that the DPP nominee had presented to the committee through a questionnaire contained in the Public Appointments (Parliamentary Approval) Act was sufficient.
On his criminal litigation background, Haji told vetting MPs that he will be personally leading prosecution of high profile cases to emphasise the weightiness of his team to secure a conviction.
This came as MPs in the committee, which is mostly composed of lawyers, pointed out that Haji’s appointment to the prosecutorial post was misplaced because he lacks courtroom experience.
Haji responded by stating “most of it is team work with prosecutors to prepare files with evidence.”
Haji said his experience as a state counsel, a legal officer, investigator, analyst and administrator responsible for efficient coordination and utilization of human, financial and material resources has equipped him with strategic and administrative leadership needed in this role.
“As an analyst, l am concerned to note that the last 10 years has seen a rise in new threats like terrorism, drug and human trafficking, cyber-crime, financial and economic crimes that threaten the very existence of our country if left unchecked.”
Haji who is poised to take over from Keriako Tobiko who resigned to take up a Cabinet docket, has vowed to initiate negotiations with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission and the Treasury for a review of salaries and allowances for staff at the ODPP.
He promised to establish a Prosecution Practice Institute. He will also establish a team of prominent legal minds to lead inspections prior to writing reports.
“Technical capacity of the office of DPP is to offer guidance to have a case that is water tight. I will concentrate on capacity building. The problem is officers being given complex cases. I will engage retired judges to help prosecutors in capacity building through use of mock courts” he told the MPs.