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Let's not lose momentum on the war on corruption

By Oscar Onyango | August 30th 2018 at 11:20:17 GMT +0300

The war on corruption was never going to be easy. It required men and women of strong will to accomplish the task. Therefore in scouting for the person to replace Mr Tobiko no much effort was required but to settle on Director of Publlic Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji.

His name has become synonymous with the war on graft but until early this year, few had an idea who he was let alone what he was capable of offering in the new docket.

His career background was not inspiring either many being of the opinion that having a background in commercial law practice at the State Law Office, he did not possess the requisite experience for the job he was seeking.

In fact, there is a joke within legal circles that State Law Office is beleaguered with lazy and unambitious lawyers but whether this is true or false, it is certainly not the case with Noordin.

Seven months down the line, he has proved his critics wrong by showing that he is not only a man on a mission but that he is ready to accomplish this mission with ruthless focus.

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Of all the corruption cases he has handled in the recent past, none has elicited mixed reactions like the arrest of the Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mbete Mwilu.

Kenyans have reacted to the arrest with a section of them reading mischief in her arrest and are even attributing the same to the nullification of the presidential election in which the head of state promised to revisit the conduct of the some Supreme Court judges during that period.

However, we must resist the temptation to trivialize and politicize the war on corruption if we are to make any meaningful gains in fighting the vice.

It’s no longer a secret that amid the confusion of the last general election and in a fit of anger following the nullification of his win, the president made some statements that could loosely be taken to mean that he was going to review the conduct of some of the supreme court judges upon his re-election in what is now famously referred to as 'revisiting'.

This is humanly understandable given the circumstance under which the statements were made but does not in my view mean that the Deputy CJ's woes emanated from the president's view of the court at that time.

In fact, the president has not shown any indication that he would be revisiting this matter but has only urged the courts to play it role by expediting the prosecution of graft suspects.

The war on graft requires concerted effort from all stakeholders but we will lose momentum when we begin to think of other individuals as so sacred as to be held accountable for their actions or inaction.

We must therefore seize this opportunity to support the president in his effort to rid institutions of the dragon of corruption even if that would come at the cost of our close associates and friend as he had earlier indicated.

At this point, It is wrong to presume that the Deputy Chief Justice is a victim of witch hunt without the final determination of her innocence or otherwise by the court. The honour and respect of her office does not make her or any other person in her capacity immune to corruption.

In any case, Judges drawn from a pool of crooked lawyers with itchy hand for quick money and are therefore no saints on matters corruption. Of importance now is to ensure that the graft suspects are taken through the due process of law without the dehumanizing drama of arrests during the night or at places of work.

By Oscar Onyango

[email protected]


Noordin Haji corruption Philomena Mwilu
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