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DPP Haji: We are committed to ending police excesses

By Patrick Vidija | November 17th 2021

Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji and the International Justice Mission-Kenya Country Director Benson Shamala during the launch of Kayole Justice Centre.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has said his office is committed to ending police excesses.

Haji on Wednesday said in partnership with Justice Centers and Human Rights Defenders, his office is working round the clock to curb the excesses, gender-based violence, rape, defilement and cases of pollution which have been reported to be on an increase.

Haji spoke in Nairobi’s Kayole slum where he launched Community Justice Center.

While reiterating that his office was unwavering in its quest to implement policies and guidelines formulated to enhance justice, Haji said he will ensure the Decision to Charge Guidelines, ODPP Case Digest on Police Accountability are fully implemented.

"I assure the Social Justice movement of the support of my office in this noble work. To the Kayole Community Justice Centre, stand tall and bold and let us collectively reform our country," said Haji.

The DPP urged the community to embrace the work justice centres are doing, and report cases so that his office can follow up on complaints amid efforts to ensure justice.

He said he is happy his office has worked to help streamline the justice system by using the decision to charge guidelines to sieve out some of the cases that ought not to be taken to court.

According to him, his office has restructured the way police carry out their work in a bid to stop police abuses.

"We are no longer prosecuting touting cases as the case used to be in 2018. My office will not be taking those cases where police are now arresting and charging members of the public with an offence of idling,” he said.

While maintaining that police must have sufficient evidence before charging a suspect, Haji also warned the uniformed officers against fixing suspects by recycling exhibits.

He said, "There is no way mistakes happen year in year out and the commanders pretend not to know."

He added that his office has a dedicated team for handling sexual and gender-based violence issues.

He said together with International Justice Mission-Kenya and Kayole Community Justice Center his office will soon engage the public in Kayole to discuss matters of justice.

 Present during the ceremony was International Justice Mission-Kenya Country Director Benson Shamala and representatives from Independent Medico-Legal Unit, Haki Africa, Defenders Coalition.

IJM Kenya donated a container that Kayole Community Justice Center uses as an office.

"Our journey together started in 2018. We were so excited to see young ladies and gentlemen who were eager to fight for justice in their society," Shamala said.

Shamala said IJM-Kenya is passionate about issues of justice and the organization will continue to work with partners within the criminal justice system to ensure people who are poor are protected from violence.

"The issue of justice is not to be left to lawyers and social workers alone but it is for everyone in the society," Shamala said.

Kayole Community Justice Center Coordinator Faith Kasina in her remarks said IJM-K had played a critical role in encouraging them when they lost hope of creating a stable justice centre in Kayole.

She said some of their founding members gave up and left.

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