Engineers to DCI: Focus on crime, stay away from professional matters

The Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK) Erick Ohaga. [File

The Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK) president Erick Ohaga has called out the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) for prosecuting profession-related cases.

Ohaga’s sentiments came a day after a court sitting at the Kahawa Law Courts acquitted three senior staff of Kenya Power Company (KPLC) who had been accused of economic sabotage.

Speaking exclusively to The Standard on Sunday morning, the IEK president opined that the DCI should stick to prosecuting criminal matters.

“We want to ask all these criminal justice institutions to investigate issues thoroughly before going to court. The DCI should leave professional matters to professions. That is why most cases are collapsing. It is because they cannot sustain their claims in court,” Ohaga told The Standard.

“As an institution, we are so happy for the release. We were against it at first. Our colleagues were arrested for vandalism. That is not the work of an engineer. That is like saying if your house is robbed then you go after the architect,”

Ohaga says that as a result of the nine-month court process, their colleagues have suffered joblessness, and psychological and reputation damage.

“The arrest has majorly affected the three of us, but it has instilled a lot of fear in most of us,” Ohaga adds.

Last week, the court ruled in the engineers’ favour and accused the prosecution of failing to provide sufficient evidence.

Senior Principal Magistrate Boaz Ombewa set free Raphael Kimeu (acting General Manager, Network Management), David Kamau (Manager, Transmission Network Department) and Julius Mwaniki (Second Assistant Engineer, Transmission Department).

The trio had been accused of sabotage and neglect of official duties.

On January 26, the three were charged with failure to maintain and reinforce the Dandora-Embakasi high voltage power lines, which resulted in the paralysis of activities countrywide.

But while acquitting them, the magistrate concurred with defence lawyer Ng’ang’a Mbugua that the three senior KPLC staff were not liable for the collapse of the towers.

"In the upshot, I make a finding that no prima facie case has been established against the accused persons to warrant them being put on their defence. I accordingly acquit each of the accused persons on all the charges levelled against them as per the law," the magistrate said in his judgement.