Things fall apart: Why Kinoti no longer pounces on suspects as before
By Kamore Maina
| August 30th 2020
Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti is reportedly ignoring orders by Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji to arrest suspects as the feud between the two offices worsened.
Before their relationship went south, DCI detectives would swing into action immediately and arrest suspects as soon as the DPP approved charges against them.
However, this is no longer the case as the DCI boss has, on several occasions, brushed aside Haji’s directives.
This week, Haji ordered the arrest of suspects in the Sh177 million Maasai Mara University scam. He also ordered the arrest of former Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) boss Daniel Manduku over Sh2 billion tenders while he was still at the helm of the agency.
At the same time, the DPP directed that Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa be arrested and prosecuted over alleged misappropriation of CDF money.
What is happening now is that suspects are left to present themselves to the police or DCI offices or courts.
This has been attributed to the clash between the DCI and the DPP as the two officials appear to be pulling in different directions.
The recent arrest of three senators, at the height of controversy on sharing of revenue among counties, only served to further compound the situation as Haji later dropped charges against them.
And on Thursday, the DPP ordered the arrest of Dr Manduku over the payment of over Sh244 million to contractors for work not completed.
In his statement, Haji said there was sufficient evidence to charge the former MD alongside KPA works officer Juma Chigulu.
As has been the case lately, there was no activity at the DCI to capture Manduku. He would later present himself at DCI headquarters along Kiambu Road where he was detained.
Later, on Friday, Manduku and his co-accused were charged in court and granted a Sh12 million cash bail each.
Manduku and Chigulu have been accused of causing loss of Sh2 billion from KPA.
Sources at the DCI told the Sunday Standard that Kinoti and his officers had no plans of hunting for Manduku.
“We were shocked to see him walk into our offices. And it was a good thing he presented himself because we had no plans of looking for him,” said a senior official at the DCI headquarters, confirming Kinoti has been reluctant to arrest suspects even after the DPP has given his consent.
Sources said Kinoti was unhappy last week when the DPP declined to charge three senators who had been arrested by DCI officers.
Manduku’s case was meant to express Kinoti’s dissatisfaction with Haji, with whom they have been embroiled in a power struggle, the source said.
On Monday, Haji directed the arrest of former Maasai Mara University Vice-Chancellor Mary Walingo over missing Sh177 million.
Again, Walingo and four senior university staff were not arrested until they presented themselves before a Nakuru court on Wednesday.
Prof Walingo was charged together with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Administration, Finance and Planning Simon Kasaine ole Seno, acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic and Student Affairs John Almadi Obere, Finance Officer, Anaclet Biket Okumu and a driver Noor Hassan Abdi.
They denied 10 counts ranging from misappropriation of public funds, abuse of office, non-compliance with laws and procedures on the management of public funds. They were released on a Sh20 million bond with an alternative of Sh10 million cash deposit.
Yesterday, senior DCI officials said they read mischief in some of the press statement Haji has been issuing which they now believe are aimed at piling pressure on their boss.
In the past, operations to arrest suspects was a spectacle, if the coordination between the DCI and the DPP was anything to go by. By the time Kinoti and Haji are releasing a statement confirming the arrest of suspects, DCI officers would already have been informed and would be lurking around the homes of suspects ready to pounce. However, this is not the case anymore.
Kinoti and Haji have been clashing over the prosecution of criminal matters, including high-level corruption cases.
DCI investigators were on Tuesday surprised to see a press statement by Haji, almost two weeks after Haji returned the file and allowed the senators’ prosecution.
“We are not sure why he (DPP) has decided to make it public just now yet he returned the files as early as August 3,” said a senior officer.
On August 10, Haji and Kinoti made a public appearance together at a function at Buru Buru Police Station where they downplayed their differences.
This was six days after the DCI chief snubbed a function Haji had organised in Nairobi and attended by his seniors, among them Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai.
During the event, Haji launched new policy guidelines for state prosecutors.
The document dubbed ‘Guidelines on Decision to Charge, 2019’ provides guidelines on how prosecutors will work. The event was held at the Prosecution Training Institute in Loresho. The new guidelines have a major impact on the work of the DCI.
Chief Justice David Maraga was the guest of honour. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission CEO Twalib Mbarak was present.
Yesterday, the source said two major incidents last week had re-opened the old wounds and rekindled the animosity between the DCI and DPP.
DCI commanders were angered by DCI’s decision to drop charges against the three senators, Steve Lelegwe (Samburu), Christopher Langat (Bomet) and Cleophas Malala (Kakamega)
The arrest of the three senators, by the DCI Special Service Unit (SSU), was interpreted as a tactic by the state to arm-twist them into changing their hardline positions on the revenue sharing formula.
The three were driven from Nairobi to police stations in their rural areas where they recorded statements.
Their arrest sparked fury from fellow senators who summoned the top security chiefs to the Senate. Dr Matiang’i, Mr Mutyambai and Mr Kinoti denied that the arrests were linked to the revenue row.
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