“The expansion of the Judiciary promises an easier access of the criminal justice services. This, however, will only happen if the number of prosecutors will match that of the courts,” noted Kimemia. “The number of prosecutors has been one of the impediments to criminal justice delivery.”
Yesterday, Law Society of Kenya (LSK) national chairman Eric Mutua pointed out there was a grave mismatch between the Judiciary and the Office of the DPP.
Mutua told The Standard on Saturday, the DPP’s office has no capacity in terms of staff to provide competent and effective services to the Judiciary.
“The Judiciary cannot perform without a competent prosecution. On July 5, 2012, the LSK council met the Prime Minister (PM) Raila Odinga and raised these issues. We have also raised the same with Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eugene Wamalwa and Attorney General Githu Muigai,” added Mutua.
When contacted, Wamalwa admitted there was a crisis and said the shortage of prosecutors was likely to compromise the quality of cases brought before the courts, given that the few prosecutors available are over-stretched.
Wamalwa said an increase in the number of judges and magistrates without a corresponding number of prosecutors was bound to make them idle.
“The problem is under-funding of the DPP’s office and this has to change,” said Wamalwa. “After reforms, for example, the Judiciary was allocated Sh15 billion in this year’s budget. We need to also direct more resources to the DPP’s office for improved capacity.”
Tobiko said funds availed by the State through budgetary allocations to recruit more prosecutors were by far inadequate.
“We had requested for Sh940 million to employ more prosecutors under the 2012/2013 budgetary allocations but Treasury released only Sh450 million, out of which 280 million is for personnel emoluments of the existing staff,” he said. He added with only Sh170 million available for recruitment of more prosecutors, only 106 will be hired through the Public Service Commission (PSC).
“This, to me, is sabotage. Someone somewhere does not want an effective prosecution service in the country,” fumed Tobiko.
Financial Secretary Mutua Kilaka, has on behalf of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Joseph Kinyua, approved the recruitment of the 106 prosecutors in a letter dated July 19. Despite the approval, Tobiko reckons that poor terms of service had made it difficult for his office to attract qualified lawyers to take-up prosecution jobs while existing ones were venturing out to greener pastures.
“The last time we wanted to hire 65 prosecutors, but only 25 were attracted. The Salaries and Remuneration Commission should approve our new proposal for terms and conditions of service.