, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 28 – Members of the National Assembly have challenged incoming Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji to live up to his word that he will spare no one in his quest to end corruption and bring perpetrators of serious crime to book.
Majority Leader Aden Duale (Garissa Township) told Haji that he must change the way things are done which has led to the prosecution losing key cases because of poor evidence collection and investigations.
“He must go for serious drug-dealers in this country from chang’aa brewers (illicit brews), to those in the Coast who give our children hard drugs. He must deal with those who finance terrorism, he must deal with the impunity that is found in the political class – those who have toxic tongues – he must deal with those who form banks and then they run away with the money and then Kenyans lose their money. He must find out that the finance sector is running well,” he said.
MPs said as the DPP-designate must defend his office which is responsible for instituting and undertaking criminal proceedings against any person before any court with respect to any offence alleged to have been committed.
Deputy Minority Leader Robert Mbui said the DPP should prosecute without fear or favour in the public interest; to achieve the ends of justice and the reform agenda.
They noted that the ODPP should not be a scapegoat for the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) for failing to prosecute key corruption related cases.
The Judiciary has also dismissed a number of criminal cases for lack of commitment on the part of the prosecutor’s office. These have caused the public to lose faith in the office.
Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly chairman William Cheptumo (Baringo North MP) cited the skills and experience acquired from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) in addition to his qualifications in law would bring a new and broader dimension to management of investigations and prosecutions in Kenya.
Appearing before Committee which conducted his approval hearing, Haji pledged to deal with the ‘big fish’ and ensure there is closure in some of the long-pending cases.
The Deputy Director in charge of Counter-Terrorism and Money Laundering at the National Intelligence Service (NIS) told the MPs that he would be going to court personally for cases that are of high public interest to ensure thorough prosecution process is adhered to.
He explained that was in ‘big fish’ “have money and thus afford good lawyers who file for judicial reviews to delay the cases whenever they are filed in court.”
Haji told the Committee that he will not be swayed by political affiliation despite being the son to Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji.
“I want to assure you that I will not be influenced and that the rule of law and the Constitution will be followed. Sometimes I think it is both a blessing and a burden to be my father’s son but I think I am here today not because of my father but because of my integrity,” he added.
Haji who will replace Keriako Tobiko (who has since been appointed environment Cabinet Secretary), said he will work with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to address the high number of prosecution officers exiting from service due to poor working conditions.
Duale had during the debate intimated that Haji and AG -Designate Kihara Kariuki are likely to be sworn-in either on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning before the President departs for Mozambique for a State Visit.