DPP Haji: Graft suspects wasting looted money, making it difficult to recover
- DPP Haji said public officials accused of corruption more often than not end up laundering the money they looted in non-viable business ventures, hence making it hard to get back public funds for proper use.
- He also rubbished claims by a section of politicians allied to DP William Ruto that the war on graft is being used to target certain communities or individuals.
- He further revealed that some of the suspects in the second NYS scandal have turned into state witnesses who will help in prosecuting the cases and bring the major culprits to book.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji on Wednesday stated that graft suspects have made recovery of assets difficult because of the ventures they pour the money looted from public coffers into.
Speaking on Citizen TV’s Jeff Koinange Live, DPP Haji said public officials accused of corruption more often than not end up laundering the money they looted in non-viable business ventures, hence making it hard to get back public funds for proper use.
“I’m not justifying the stealing but, even when they do it, the money is not properly utilized. In some of the cases we’re trying to recover but there isn’t much to recover because they wasted it in ventures that are not viable,” said the DPP.
He also rubbished claims by a section of politicians allied to Deputy President William Ruto that the war on graft is being used to target certain communities or individuals.
Haji, in mitigation, released a list detailing the numbers of people his office is investigating for graft crimes by ethnicity.
According to him, a majority of the suspects come from the Kikuyu community (141), followed by the Luo community (56) and the Kalenjin community (46).
Embu (5), Indians (15), Kamba (31), Kisii (37), Luhya (29), Maasai (2), Meru (16), Samburu (1), Somali (16), Swahili/Mijikenda (34), and Turkana (3) make up the rest of the communities with graft suspects on the DPP’s radar.
“We’re not targeting any individual. We have cases and we have the evidence and we’ll put it before the court of law and they will decide. We have not in any way weaponized the war against corruption,” he said.
“What we’re saying is that whether you’re Kikuyu or Kalenjin or Somali, you’re a criminal. What you’ve done is you’ve stolen from Kenyans and you must face the law to it’s full extent.”
A tough-talking DPP also defended the mode of arresting of suspects on Fridays and detaining them until Monday when they’re arraigned in court — what is now known as the kamata kamata Fridays — saying it is allowed by law.
He further revealed that some of the suspects in the second National Youth Service (NYS) scandal have turned into State witnesses and will help in prosecuting the cases and bring the major culprits to book.
“These were very low ranking officers who were utilized to commit the crime and they will be useful for us to come and explain how it was done so that we can be able to get the big fish,” said Haji.
The DPP also commended Chief Justice David Maraga for appointing 10 new Special Magistrates under the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes unit so as to ensure graft cases are sped up.
He further shielded both himself and Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti from allegations by a section of politicians that they are being used to fight political battles saying “we are nobody’s errand boys, except Kenyans.”
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