Renson Ingonga must give ODPP teeth

DPP nominee Renson Mulele Ingonga

Renson Mulele Ingonga, the nominee for the appointment as Director of Public Prosecutions, on August 31, 2023 when he appeared before the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee for the interview at Parliament Buildings, Nairobi.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The new director of public prosecutions DPP) needs a lot of time to reflect and ponder on several sensitive issues, especially corruption cases touching on high-profile individuals.

For a start, Renson Mulele Ingonga should not take his predecessor, Noordin Haji, as a role model. And he must distance himself from the former DPP’s decisions in handling corruption cases. Mr Ingonga needs to avoid the mistake done by Mr Haji, now the director-general of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), as regards his huge appetite for withdrawing cases against corrupt individuals. He should, instead, constitute strong prosecution teams to firmly deal with these cases to attain ultimate success in securing conviction in the courts.

The new chief prosecutor should emphasise on a multi-agency and -disciplinary approach in dealing with files associated with looters of public resources and strengthen the process by making it water-tight so as to prevent circumvention of the law by corrupt people.

Many corruption cases are either withdrawn on the basis of lack of sufficient evidence to secure a conviction or on technicality. The new director thus needs to give due diligence to every matter presented to him and ensure only strong cases make their way to the courts for trial.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) should also take responsibility and accountability for matters thrown out in the courts and opt for appealing them if it has to regain public confidence and support.

The ODPP also needs to be supported by the government of the day through political goodwill as it exercises its constitutional mandate in ensuring those who steal public resources pay heavily for their actions through asset recovery and penalties.

Mr Abdow is a public education specialist. [email protected].