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To win the fight against graft, DPP and Kinoti must work in harmony

By The Standard | March 5th 2020

On Tuesday, Kenyans were treated to a shocking spectacle when officers from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) clashed publicly in court.

Officers from the two sides engaged in heated exchanges over the status of investigations and prosecution of Kenya Ports Authority boss Daniel Manduku. Haji declined to charge Manduku with graft, leaving the magistrate with no choice but to release him.

The standoff was interpreted as a sign of simmering tensions between the two important offices over the handling of high-profile cases.

That DPP Noordin Haji and DCI boss George Kinoti could not read from the same script is shocking to Kenyans who have been made to believe, by no other than the President, that they have what it takes to rid the country of endemic corruption.

At one point the President, referring to the two, warned: “The culture of calling for help is no more and when they (Kinoti and Noordin) come for you, it will be upon you to defend yourself. Ni noma, hizo simu zilizimwa zamani.” On another occasion, the President said, “Hawa wasee wameuamua...hawachezi na na hawacheki.” These statements show how much President Kenyatta trusts the two.

The President has no iota of doubt that together, Kinoti and Noordin will slay the dragon of corruption. In fact their collaboration had corrupt officials shivering in their boots every Friday.

But going by the drama during Manduku’s day in court this is now in doubt. All indications are that the two are not pulling in the same direction.

The tragedy of this is that none of them can succeed on his own. Theirs is a symbiotic relationship; they are joined at the hip. If a case flops in court, both are likely be deemed to have failed.

For that reason Kinoti must investigate his cases meticulously so as to provide the DPP with watertight evidence. Noordin, on the other hard, must argue his case convincingly so as not to let Kinoti down. That’s how it should be.

In the absence of cordial relationship, the DCI and DPP will be fighting a losing battle. And the greatest losers will be Kenyans. This is why they must quickly iron out any differences they may have for the sake of us all.

To their credit, since they were appointed they have given the war on corruption a fresh impetus and we have seen big shots arrested and charged. But whether their battle will yield fruit remains to be seen.

That’s why it is important for Noordin and Kinoti to put their houses in order. It would be laughable if Kenyans start seeing them as being the weak link in the war against corruption.

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