Maraga, AG clash on prosecution of graft

The new anti-graft agency CEO Twalib Mbarak after being sworn in at the Supreme Court yesterday. [Beverlyne Musili, Standard]
Chief Justice David Maraga and Attorney-General Paul Kihara clashed yesterday over the ongoing fight on corruption.

Justice Kihara accused the Judiciary of being the weakest link in the war on corruption and impunity, but Justice Maraga dismissed the claim, saying judges relied on the Constitution to guide them in their work.

Justice Kihara, who is the chairman of a multi-agency task force overseeing the war on graft, sparked the clash by accusing the Judiciary of encouraging impunity and not doing what was right.

He said whereas the Judiciary was independent, this could not be an excuse for impunity and not doing what is right.

“It cannot be right that agencies responsible for investigations are prevented from doing their job. Nobody is above the law and we will do just that,” said the AG in reference to recent orders to release suspects under investigation.

He told the Judiciary to help Kenya in the fight against crime, and especially corruption.

“Kenyans are expecting much and we have no tangible results. We have talked enough,” said the AG.

He called for concerted efforts to address the vices affecting the country.

He was speaking during the swearing-in of the new Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chief executive, Twalib Mbarak, at the Supreme Court.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji and Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti were present.

The CJ urged the investigative agencies to bring watertight cases to the courts if they expected convictions.

He added that the Judiciary would not allow anybody to use it as a scapegoat in fighting corruption.

“Don't use the Judiciary as a scapegoat. That one we will not allow. If you bring weak cases we will tell you. The public will judge us. We will not allow scapegoats and Wanjiku is tired of games.”

Mr Mbarak acknowledged the Government’s renewed fight against the vice further and warned that on his watch, graft would be made a high-risk venture and Kenya would become inhospitable for the corrupt.

“Corrupt persons thrive on volatility. They exploit it for personal gain. I am committed to make corruption a high-risk venture in our beloved country. Kenya will be an inhospitable place for corrupt individuals."

Mbarak said he would bank on his experience from both law enforcement and his corporate background to execute his mandate at the anti-graft agency.

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war on crruptionDavid Maraga