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UK envoy Hailey lauds graft war, says Kenyans need to see convictions

Speaking to Capital FM News on Monday, the envoy stated that those guilty should be tried and convicted regardless of their status in society/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 8 – British High Commissioner Nic Hailey has lauded the war on corruption but says more needs to be done to tame the vice.

Speaking to Capital FM News on Monday, the envoy stated that those guilty should be tried and convicted regardless of their status in society.

“I think that shows that it’s serious. You have got a Supreme Court judge, you have Governors being investigated, you have got CSs being investigated but I still think the acid test down the line is whether anybody gets convicted,” he said.

“Many people have been investigated… that is a good start, but we need to see some convictions for Kenyans to see that this is serious.”

He further underscored the importance of those implicated in graft to step aside to pave the way for investigations.

“The other thing that needs to happen is that people need to step aside from their offices when they are being investigated. When there are serious allegations of corruption, if people are left in their jobs, they can go back and influence their colleagues not to bear witness against them, they can destroy evidence,” he said.

He also stressed the need for those implicated in graft to step aside to pave the way for investigations into the allegations.

“So, I think it is really important that people who are being investigated step aside, presumed innocent until proven guilty but let those investigations go forward,” he said.

Hailey however emphasized the need for investigative bodies to be united in the war against graft.

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“Well everyone needs to work together, the police, EACC, the prosecution, the Judiciary and people need to not blame each other if these cases do not go through but ultimately, it is that political commitment to ensure that these cases end up with real convictions. That’s what matters.”

His sentiments come even as a number of high-ranking officials including Cabinet Secretaries, Governors and even Supreme Court Judges have been implicated in graft.

The latest case is that of Justice Jackton Ojwang who has since been suspended and the tribunal set up to probe his conduct set to be sworn-in on Monday.

The tribunal will be seeking to probe Justice Ojwang’s conduct following recommendation by the Judicial Service Commission.

The tribunal will be chaired by Justice Alnashir Visram with retired Justice Festus Azangalala, Ambrose Weda, Andrew Bahati Mwamuye, Lucy Kambuni, Sylvia Wanjiku Muchiri and Amina Abdalla named as members.

The commission admitted a petition seeking his removal over misconduct, impropriety and conflict of interest.

The petition filed by Nelson Oduor Onyango and eight others detailed instances which the petitioners believed constituted grounds of misconduct, impropriety, conflict of interest and breach of judicial code of conduct on the part of the Hon Judge.

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