- Describing corruption as a monster hurting his development agenda and Kenya’s progress, the President warned that no corrupt Kenyan will be left unscathed.
- The President asked Kenyans to stop watching from the sidelines and report any corrupt individual, irrespective of their social standing.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday backed Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji in his row with the Judiciary over the easy bail terms granted to corruption suspects.
Last month Mr Haji said that cases where State officials facing serious charges continue holding office and getting paid were hampering his work.
“I am frustrated that once I charge certain individuals, I can’t get them to face the law. Some remain in office to flex their muscles, intimidate witnesses and interfere with the investigations,” Mr Haji said in an interview with Citizen TV.
He cited the examples of Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu and Migori Governor Okoth Obado, who are facing abuse of office and murder charges respectively.
Presiding over the 55th Jamhuri Day celebrations at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, the President cautioned the Judiciary against giving corruption suspects an easy ride with “ridiculously low” bail terms.
“I am again calling on the Judiciary to ensure that its procedures are not used to protect impunity. Kenyans’ spirits are dampened when we witness suspects released on ridiculously low bail terms, interference in legislative processes, and the use of the court process to delay justice,” President Kenyatta said.
Mr Haji and some legislators have indicated that having corruption suspects out on bail, and worse still, allowing them to remain in office with full access to public resources, undermines the war against corruption.
“What message does the Judiciary send to the country when persons facing economic and capital offence charges are easily granted bail and are busy gallivanting across the country threatening witnesses, retaining access to office and resources and unleashing the same to undermine the court processes?” five MPs from the National Super Alliance, led by Mathare’s Anthony Oluoch and Nyando’s Jared Okello said in a statement last week.
But those opposed to this view argue that all suspects, whether public officials or not, must be presumed innocent until proven guilty, a tenet the President, and the DPP, consider erroneous.
President Kenyatta’s comments came days after senior and former officials of the Kenya Pipeline Company, the National Cereals and Produce Board, and the National Hospital Insurance Fund were freed on bond and bail after denying various corruption charges.
Describing corruption as a monster hurting his development agenda and Kenya’s progress, the President warned that no corrupt Kenyan will be left unscathed.
“To those engaging in fraud and abuse of office, please listen to me keenly: You can run, but you cannot hide. We will catch up with you and make you pay dearly for every coin stolen from Kenyans,” the President, who was dressed in the Kenya Army’s ceremonial red tunic, said.
The celebrations also marked the Trooping the Colour by the 17th Battalion of the Kenya Rifles, a ceremony held when a unit or base honours the Commander-in-Chief with a guard of honour.