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Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi.

Kenya

Matiangi says courts frustrating war on crime due to delayed justice

NAIROBI, Kenya, March 11- Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiangi has challenged the judiciary and other departments in the justice system to accelerate court cases for quick conclusion.

Speaking during the launch of a report on the Status of Crime in the country, Matiangi said lengthy litigations frustrate efforts to bring criminals to justice. The report focused on home-based crime and family violence in the context of COVID-19, governance, and leadership in the context of the government fight against corruption, pre-election crimes and offenses in the elections period, and countering violent extremism and terrorism.

He specifically singled out the Judiciary for frustrating efforts to maintain law and order, through lengthy litigation.

“We are ready to do our part and I can guarantee you that. But we must stop the hypocrisy in which we live as a society,” the Cabinet Secretary said during the launch of the report by the National Crime Research Centre (NCRC).

“Law enforcement does not begin and end with the police. So, what are my supposed to do,” he posed.

Matiangi cited cases stemming from examination cheating in 2015 and the 2017 electoral violence which remain active in court.

“It’s becoming ritualistic for police to arrest these people, tell the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) the file is released, and then a Magistrate promptly releases the suspects, who proceed to commit the same offence,” a visibly agitated Matiangi said. “Some of these people we are taking them to court for the seventh or eighth time.”

Matiangi further raised alarm over heightened political rhetoric, ahead of next year’s general election, saying a section of the politicians are making what he termed as suicidal statements, that threaten the country’s stability.

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The tense situation was recently laid bare during the recent by-elections in Kakamega and Bungoma Counties- that were marred by cases of violence.

Four politicians were arrested and arraigned for the violence, while the National Police Service (NPS) has since withdrawn their firearm licenses, on the directive of Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai.

Also arrested and charged was former Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa, who was captured on camera slapping an electoral official, for allegedly kicking out United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party agents out of a polling station in Matungu, Kakamega County.

Other legislators who were arrested and subsequently charged are Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Nelson Koech (Belgut), Wilson Kogo (Chesumei) and Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei for allegedly planning violence in Kabuchai constituency.

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