Judiciary, independent departments on spot over war on corruption


The Kenyan Judiciary was today put in the dock for the inordinate delays in resolving corruption cases as President Kenyatta turned heat on all government agencies that have a role in fighting corruption.

The courts, represented by Acting President of the Supreme Court, Justice Kihara Kariuki, were blamed for resolving very few corruption cases even though there are hundreds of cases pending.

Attorney General Professor Githu Muigai, Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Executive Halakhe Waqo and Director of Criminal Investigation Ndegwa Muhoro all pointed fingers at the Judiciary for their dismal performance in the war against corruption.

Mr Tobiko said the courts have resolved only 198 cases between 2009 and 2016 and more than 600 corruption cases are pending in the courts.

The EACC boss said the performance of the courts in relation to anti-corruption matters was not encouraging.

“The weakest link is in the courts. The truth is if you have 600 cases and you have only three being resolved every month, then you have the weakest link,” said the Attorney General.

The revelations and honest exchanges occurred during a State House Governance, Anti-Corruption and Accountability Summit where issues concerning were discussed and televised. It was the seventh in the State House Summit series convened by the President’s Communications Team.

The President challenged the heads of the different departments to say on the spot if the Executive has not given them all they need to perform their job.

He said he has played his role in fighting corruption and cautioned politicians against using the issue for political gain and has even sacked six members of his Cabinet on the basis of corruption claims made by the EACC, and this at a political cost.

“Corruption should not be used for politics. Kenya must continue,” said the President as he also noted that the biggest critics of the government had skipped the Summit even though they were formally invited.

He said the critics had skipped the Summit because they know they cannot support the wild allegations they make with any evidence.

The President also put on the spot the Auditor General Edward Ouko for saying that he wants to interrogate the Federal Reserve of New York (part of the U.S. central bank) over the Eurobond.

“Are you telling me that the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States have colluded? And someone says they want to interrogate the US Federal Reserve. Are we serious with what we are doing?” said President Kenyatta.

The President said he would like to see the Kenyan courts putting in more efforts to deal with corruption cases.

He said according to the Constitution he has no powers over the courts and measures he has taken to fast track court cases have been challenges by judges.

“Do what Kenyans are paying you to do. Take a case, hear it in the morning, hear it at night and over the weekend and deliver a judgement in a weeks’ time,” said the President.

In defence of the courts, Justice Kihara said the courts need automation to fast track the hearing of cases.

He also said more improvements need to be done to the anti-corruption courts so that they become a separate division.

Justice Kihara also said that investigations need to be strengthened so that courts receive cases that are watertight from the beginning.

Central Bank Governor Prof Patrick Njoroge said the establishment of a court to deal with financial crimes would strengthen the country’s financial sector.

US Ambassador Robert Godec, who was among the many envoys who attended the summit, said Kenya can follow the example of the US which uses strike forces that are composed of investigators and prosecutors to fast track corruption cases.


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