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DPP Haji: Why my job is so difficult

NAIROBI
By Mercy Asamba | November 10th 2020

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji. [File, Standard]

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has outlined some of the challenges his office faces in its quest to execute its mandate in fighting corruption and economic crimes.

In an annual report from his office, that was handed over to President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday at State House in Nairobi, the DPP said State officials charged with corruption and still remain in office had proved to be a hurdle in ending corruption.

In 2019, DPP Haji and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) had signaled that they will persuade judges to enforce laws ordering top officials arraigned on graft charges to vacate office for the entire duration of their cases.

Haji wanted any officer charged to step aside, as Kenyans envisioned to have leaders who observe Chapter Six of the Constitution on leadership and integrity and Article 1 of the Constitution.

“I have been fighting to ask that those people who are charged to step aside. They must step aside. That is in the Constitution and it is a right that we have to ask, we are not pleading. If you are charged you must step aside, and we will go to the Supreme Court to get that ruling,” said Haji.

The DPP also blamed the slow judicial processes in executing the cases as part of the challenge crippling service delivery of the agency.

Haji, who took over in March 2018, has on several occasions pointed out shortcomings in the judicial system, including bribable judges and prosecutors, could weaken even the strongest of cases.

Other factors include; limited Capacity both in expertise and resources, inadequate sensitisation on corruption laws, guidelines and policies, inadequate utilisation of modern technology, inadequate witness facilitation and legislative gaps.

In the report; DPP revealed from 2017 to 2020, 53 cases involving top government officials were registered.

They are as follows: Seven Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries, 11 Governors and Senior County Officials, 22 Directors and CEOs, seven Members of Parliament, and five Members of County Assembly (MCA).

According to the report, there was a total of 135 high impact cases involving more than Sh224 billion pending before the court as of June 30, 2020.

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