Anti-graft war: Paul Kihara throws barbs at CJ Maraga
What you need to know:
- Mr Kihara said assets worth Sh3 billion have been recovered by his team through a well-coordinated approach.
- Mr Maraga said the war on corruption cannot be won on the intensity of emotions, but strict adherence to the rule of law.
The Judiciary was once again on the receiving end yesterday for being a stumbling block in the fight against corruption.
During the first day of the National Anti-Corruption Conference at Bomas of Kenya, the multiagency team headed by Attorney General Paul Kihara talked tough against corruption, warning those engaging in the vice that they will not enjoy their ill-gotten proceeds.
But while sounding a warning to the corrupt individuals, the team accused the Judiciary, which is led by Chief Justice David Maraga, of being a deterrent instead of an enabler in the war.
Kicking off the accusation was Mr Kihara, who took issue with some court orders that deter arrests of suspects, pointing it out as one of the main challenges slowing the war.
“The issuance of bails by the courts is a concern to us. A chicken thief is handed a fine of Sh500,000 while a person who has stolen billions is only given Sh1 million as bail.
“We will not be bribed nor be intimidated by anyone. We will fight corruption to the end without discrimination, but guided by the rule of law and God,” Mr Kihara said.
“We don’t fear anyone, whoever you are, wherever you are, we will find you and you will account for everything because nobody is above the law,” he added.
Mr Kihara said assets worth Sh3 billion have been recovered by his team through a well-coordinated approach.
In his first public appearance since taking office, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Executive Officer Twalib Mbarak said he is determined to end corruption in the country and will not listen to naysayers whom he said have discouraged him by saying his office is jinxed.
Mr Mbarak said judicial process must be seen as an enabler in the fight against corruption.
“I have met many people who tell me that I will not manage to fight graft, but together with the multiagency team I want to prove them wrong,” Mr Mbarak said.
Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji said his office has been accused unfairly for failing to adduce evidence in court.
“There is a narrative that we are overzealous in fighting graft without evidence, that criticism is unfair. When we go to court, we have evidence,” Mr Haji said.
Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti complained that even when his officers are still pursuing a suspect, they have already got a court order stopping their arrest.
“We know that a person has stolen from Kenyans but while going for him, we get court orders not to arrest. Can we be allowed to arrest this person and bring evidence to court?" he asked.
The Judiciary is today expected to respond to the allegations levelled against it at the conference, which will be officially closed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr Githie Mburu from the Kenya Revenue Authority also said they have been frustrated by the courts when trying to collect taxes from corrupt suspects.
“Our biggest challenge in collecting taxes has been the courts. When an individual rushes to court to bar us from taxing him, we lose a lot of money and our taxes are not secured,” Mr Mburu said.
“The cases take up to five years and by then the person has already taken all the money to Dubai and we have nothing left to tax,” he added.
Last week, Mr Maraga said the war on corruption cannot be won on the intensity of emotions, but strict adherence to the rule of law.