The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji Monday urged legal practitioners and experts within Africa, to enhance efforts towards tackling transnational organised crimes.
During his opening remarks at the 16th Annual General Meeting and Conference of Africa Prosecutors’ Association (APA) in Mombasa County, Haji noted that transnational organised crimes such as money laundering; cybercrimes including online child sexual exploitation and data theft; illicit financial flows; terrorism, violent extremism; and environmental crimes threaten continental, regional, and national security and undermine the rule of law.
In addition, the DPP noted that in order to tackle the crimes, it would require members to constantly contextualise transnational organised crimes to the African context.
“Together, we must develop enhanced formal and informal cooperation mechanisms through the signing and upholding of MoU’s; and harmonised legislation, policies and guidelines, whilst continuously sharing best practices, skills and expertise,” he said.
To this end, Kenya is undertaking to establish its own Prosecution Training Institute (PTI) that will be available for use to the Continent.
“I would thus like to encourage you all to partner with us through our Prosecution Training Institute to enhance capacity building so that we may harness proactive, innovative and preventive strategies that are reflective of today’s evolving crime landscape, as well as, the need to safeguard human rights,” he said.
While encouraging over the 300 delegates present to enhance efforts towards tackling transnational organised crimes, Haji also affirmed that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions- Kenya, will continue to promote and facilitate continental and international cooperation in upholding the rule of law, whilst ensuring adherence to prosecutorial ethics and human rights.
The DPP appreciated President William Ruto for gracing the occasion and taking lead in fighting transnational organised crime, for his commitment towards fostering the fair administration of justice across the criminal justice sector, protecting human rights, and upholding the rule of law.
In conclusion, the DPP noted that whilst the membership of the Africa Prosecutors Association is 32, the conference has expanded beyond that to consist of 43 countries, the first ever of its kind.
On his part, the Head of State said that prosecutors need to stand up for the institution they represent.
He also noted that sometimes the working conditions are not favourable and may be overbearing but urged them to remain confident in upholding the rule of law.
“It goes without saying that we are a democratic society. The measure of professionalism, integrity and legitimacy is the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens as the principle end of law enforcement,” he concluded.