The Director of Public Prosecution Mr Noordin Haji has pointed out political interferences as a key frustration in his quest for justice, in his capacity as a civil servant.
The Star Newspaper reported that Mr Haji had assumed that he would serve as a civil servant without ‘fear or favour’, as he took over office in 2018.
“Though I expected challenges while discharging this role, I did not foresee irrational politicisation of cases the office prosecutes,” he is quoted by The Star.
“Politicisation of cases specifically on corruption and abuse of office greatly impedes prosecution and greatly delays justice”.
Mr Haji reportedly said that when the subject is a state officer, or a member of the justice system, frustrations crop in in terms of slowed down investigations and court processes. Majority of such cases, he said, take a political turn as political camps apply pressure on the ODPP.
“We cannot prefer charges against a person if we do not have evidence. The evidence must meet a certain threshold before a case is taken to court,” The Star quoted him.
According to the ODPP, political roadblocks are a big hindrance to the prosecution process especially when prominent individuals are the subjects of investigations.
He noted that applications and court orders against prosecution of the accused, pose as challenges in ensuring a just process, hence prolonged court cases. The set prosecution timeline is usually 2 years.
The Star reported Mr Haji saying that the ODPP cannot serve with efficiency if state officers charged with corruption remain in office while the case proceeds. Further, Mr. Haji was disappointed that majority of accused state officers still bear office despite being officially charged with misuse of public resources.
“Parliament should enact laws that demand that anyone formally charged leaves office until the matter is concluded,” he is quoted saying.
The ODPP like other public offices, are obligated to fight corruption, especially through a multi-agency framework that offers support against the graft cases. President Uhuru Kenyatta is quite focused on the war against corruption, hence his efforts to ensure successful prosecution of state officers who abuse office, without fear or favour.