, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 27 – President Uhuru Kenyatta, Director of Public Prosecutions Nordin Haji, and Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti have been listed top performers in the anti-corruption crusade in a new opinion poll released Thursday.
The three, according to an end-year opinion poll by Trends and Insights For Africa (TIFA), attained an approval rating of 76, 69, and 65 per cent respectively.
The poll conducted between Wednesday and Friday last week, showed 53 per cent of 1,267 respondents interviewed nationwide approved efforts by the judiciary to combat corruption.
The National Police Service had an approval rating of 25 per cent in the poll which reported a +/- three per cent margin of error and a 95 per cent degree of confidence.
President Kenyatta announced a renewed anti-corruption fight on June 1 when he ordered fresh vetting of procurement heads of government entities, complete with polygraph tests.
While announcing the fresh vetting exercise at Madaraka Day celebrations in Meru, President Kenyatta had ordered that the exercise should be concluded before the start of the 2018/2019 Financial Year.
“All heads of procurement and accounts in government ministries, departments, agencies, and parastatals will undergo fresh vetting, including polygraph testing, to determine their integrity and suitability,” President Kenyatta said.
The campaign has since seen arrests and subsequent arraignment in court of top government and parastatal heads including Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, ex-Principal Secretary (Youth Affairs) Lillian Omollo, and National Land Commission Chairperson Muhammad Swazuri, among others.
Mwilu successfully halted her criminal prosecution after lodging a petition to challenge the process.
A five-judge bench of the High Court hearing Mwilu’s petition seeking to stop criminal proceedings against her was on December 6 adjourned to January 17 when the court will determine preliminary objections raised by parties to the suit.
Justices Hellen Omondi, Mumbi Ngugi, William Musyoka, Francis Tuiyot and Chacha Mwita adjourned following a contention over the appointment of Queen’s Counsel Khawar Qureshi to lead the legal team of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mwilu through Senior Counsel James Orengo telling the court that the London-based law professor had not been duly admitted to litigate in the country.
“The Advocates Act (Part III) provides absolute discretion to the Attorney General to admit as an advocate, an advocate coming from the Commonwealth as provided for in Section 11,” Orengo had told the court.
“We would think that it is appropriate that there should have been a gazette notice and if indeed he (Qureshi) is admitted for purposes of any case in exercise of that absolute discretion by the Attorney General, then there should be evidence of admission to the bar,” the Siaya Senator who doubles up as Senate Minority Leader submitted at the time.
Deputy DPP, Dorcas Oduor had dismissed Orengo’s assertions saying Qureshi complied with provisions of the Advocates Act.
“The Act provides that the Attorney General, in his absolute discretion, can admit someone as an advocate, the only rider is that one has to pay the Court Registrar’s fee which we did pay,” she indicated.
“Once you pay the Court Registrar’s fee, the court has to issue you with a certificate. What happens is that you can be admitted but the certificate is yet to be availed in which case the practice has been you produce the receipt in court as evidence of admission,” she explained.
Qureshi defended Haji from accusations of lacking independence in his decision to outsource a lawyer to prosecute Mwilu’s case saying the decision was premised on the need to safeguard the independence of the public prosecutor’s office.
“My understanding is that the very reason why DPP Haji instructed me was, despite the lack of any substance to the assertions raised, he is doing everything he can to demonstrate that he is acting independently and fairly. No doubt the court will determine this on January 17,” he said in an interview on December 6.