THERE’S THE URGENT NEED TO RESTORE CONFIDENCE OF THE PUBLIC IN OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND MORE PARTICULARLY IN THE FIGHT AGAINST GRAFT
Disclosure: I am an Officer in the Criminal Justice System and my views may unintentionally be biased in support of the (future of the) system.
A number of Kenyans think that the ongoing arrests and arraignment in court of a number of a Public Relations (PR) exercise. Some have even suggested that the process is actually meant to cover up for the “actual culprits” and or to sacrifice the “small fish”.
My brother and wakili Steve Ogolla is “almost certain” that in his words “the ongoing NYS cases are dead on arrival” and that “no one will be convicted” because “the government does not have a Corruption Risk Assessment Tool to detect complacency or connivance from the point of contact, going up to the higher officials.”
In fact wakili Ogolla is of the view that “the ODPP could actually be misleading Kenyans that it (the ODPP) “has the capacity to allocate criminal culpability in a complex web of public sector corruption cases in just a matter of days, as to be able to prefer charges.”
It’s without a doubt (as rightly pointed out by Wakili Ogolla) that “a corruption risk assessment tool would help highlight key stages, processes and personnel that are prone to corruption and malfeasance.
On the other hand, the learned senior and mwalimu Charles B G Ouma has elsewhere relatedly retorted that the current fight against the NYS Scandal should not be just against those who are “corrupt in the technical sense of the word”. He seems to be of the view that those arrested are not the substantive thieves who should be the ones to be pursued. Wawili is of the view that the substantive culprits “are well known and have motorcycle outriders and police chase cars to clear the traffic on their way to NYS and NPCB”.
Wakili Ouma suggests that we should go for “the neck of the man or woman with the gunny bag” and “not the neck of the poorly trained”.
Wakili Ogolla is of the view that the arrests amount to a “handpicking of top officials based on political convenience and public relations, and hounding them in court” and amounts to an abuse of the court process with the undisclosed “intention to clear” the accused while also preserving public perception of commitment to fighting graft.”
We seem to be a country that has lost hope in our systems and much has to be done to restore that hope.
There’s so much hope in our criminal justice system while I must also admit that there is so much room for improvement going ahead.
While we expect su much of our officers such as those in the ODPP, it is important that we have faith in the system. The system are what they are because of us as a people.
The gusto with which we are quick to question our institutions should also be applied to commend hard working officers and also to help agitate for the improvement of their terms and also celebrate them when they do good.
We cannot keep asking action of our officers and when such action is taken we still bash them for having taken action and call them names. It’s disheartening to be told to be doing some PR stunts when officers spent the whole of the weekend day and night reviewing files so as to be sure that the actual perpetrators are brought to book to answer for their actions and or inactions.
Granted, the quality of our investigative and prosecutorial agencies may not be at the optimum best. However, I dare say without fear of contradiction that we have some of the best and most competent investigators and prosecutors across the continent.
While we suggest and push for the improvement of the quality of their services by way of among other things, topical trainings, it’s important, actually a civic duty, that we back our officers in the performance of the duties for which they are paid from the public coffers.
Let’s also see more Kenyans push for the improvement of the terms of service of the public servants like the officers of the ODPP who are doing the best of their abilities despite the meager terms of service.
As regards the ongoing NYS-related investigations and prosecutions, let us ne positive of the outcomes. Let’s have faith in the leadership of the new DPP who has already shown a glimpse of his ability to lead the important office. Let us assist with information where we have some that is relevant.
Above all, let’s keep and remain vigilant. Let’s put public servants to task.
Justice be our shield and defender!