The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji cannot be cited for contempt of court for charging afresh a former Cabinet Secretary with corruption.
The Court of Appeal ruled that there was no proof to show Mr Haji deliberately or willfully disobeyed a judgment that quashed chargesagainst former Transport CS Michael Kamau in July 2017 over Sh33 million tender. This may now see more than 120 high profile cases involving millions of shillings that collapsed on a technicality, revived.
The cases touch on some personalities named in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s list of shame released in 2015.
Dismissing the application to have Haji, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chairman Archbishop (RTd) Eliud Wabukala, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and other officers attached to the three agencies cited for contempt, a three judge bench declared that the court must be satisfied that one deliberately disobeyed a court order that he was aware of.
Justices William Ouko, Mohamed Warsame and Kathurima M’inoti said it would also be careless, if after hearing an appeal challenging the July 2017 judgment the court finds that the agencies were not stopped from prosecuting Mr Kamau, and yet they had been committed for contempt.
“Prudent demands that we should not pre-empt the issue which is pending for determination by the court,” said Justice Ouko.
Kamau was charged afresh on July 6 for allegedly flouting procurement laws in the award of the Kamukuywa-Kaptuma-Kapsokwony-Sirisia road tender award on March 15, 2008.
The former CS who was accused of abuse of office and mismanaging public funds, pleaded not guilty and was released on Sh500,000 cash bail.
He took the plea afresh after Chief Magistrate Doughlas Ogoti ruled there were no orders from the Supreme Court stopping his prosecution.