Panicked reactions show DCI Kinoti is on the right track

DCI George Kinoti. [Photo, Standard]

The realisation that the fight against corruption is not a game of musical chairs may have caused some leaders to panic. Reactions from a section of legislators play squarely into the truism that corruption fights back and indeed, attacks on Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti vindicate this view.

Belatedly, after earlier perfunctory attempts to play the tribal card in the renewed war against corruption failed, a group of legislators from the Rift Valley have trained their guns on Kinoti, claiming he is being used to fight, specifically, Deputy President William Ruto. Given the propensity of our elected leaders to not only trivialize matters of great national import, but to also reduce them to  tribal contests, uninspiring leaders now claim that the Kalenjin community is being targeted. Nothing could be further from the truth than that.

Deputy President William Ruto fired the first salvo at Kinoti recently, claiming the DCI had no mandate to investigate economic crimes. Clearly, this is a fallacy that section 244 (b) of the constitution negates. Questions then arise; why did the DP put himself in this awkward situation when his lawyers could have given him the correct interpretation? Coming after his categorical claim that only Sh7 billion had been paid to the Kimwarer and Arror dams, only to be  proved wrong by Treasury CS Henry Rotich who put the figure at Sh20 billion, it is easy to surmise something does not add up.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji gets investigative reports from both the EACC and DCI hence, it is not the duty of legislators to decide who does what as long as the right procedure that relies on evidence as opposed to witch hunting is followed. Instructively, EACC has not raised any complaint that the DCI is muscling in on its territory or interfering with its work. Why would legislators wish to create discord where none exists unless the intention is to derail investigations that for once, have hitherto complacent agents of impunity practically sitting on the edges of their chairs?

Unless there is a tribe in Kenya called corruption, no Kenyan tribe, in the real sense of the word, is under probe for indulgence in graft. Politicians should, therefore, desist from attempting to stir tribal sentiments to derail work already in progress to stop the corrupt in their tracks. Thus, legislators should stop using political gatherings to cast aspersions on the DCI who, in any case is apolitical. That Kinoti is an appointee of the president doesn’t make him less competent or professional. He must be allowed to continue his work without distractions.

If indeed there is nothing that a few individuals want to remain secret, they should allow Kinoti time to prove his claims. It is only by giving him time that they will also have given him enough rope to hang himself should he be unable to produce evidence against those he is investigating for corruption.

The panicked reactions only help to reaffirm the public’s belief that Kinoti is on the right trail, having picked the scent and the corrupt don’t seem to relish this prospect.

One wonders; is the desire to move all corruption cases away from the DCI to EACC informed by the belief that it would be easy to use parliament, which vets appointees to EACC, to slow down the pace of investigations? The sudden confidence by a section of leaders opposed to the war on graft show in EACC after having lambasted it for incompetence is suspect. When nothing came out of the List of Shame EACC handed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2015, some of those vouching for it now were on its case. What changed?

The high turnover rate in leadership at EACC, and in which Parliament plays a pivotal role, cannot inspire the public to believe it now has what it takes to confront corruption. Some individuals are aware of the inadequacies of EACC and want to exploit them to stymie the fight against corruption. They must not be allowed to do so, for we have covered so much ground, we cannot afford to lose it now.

Politicians must understand we live under a new dispensation; that the citizens’ right to information cannot be abrogated. Attacks on the Media are equally misplaced. As the public’s watchdog, Media must demand accountability from leaders and has the right to inform the public on issues of governance that affect them.