Movement for Political Accountability- Kenya (MOPA-K), a consortium of civil society groups, community based organizations and various stakeholders promoting social accountability, good governance, corruption free society, peace, security and human rights empowerment is the second rights group to launch its plans of holding the government accountable.
MOPA-K stated that it has keenly noted that the new administration of President William Ruto will abuse the criminal justice, given the skewed manner in which it is handling war on graft.
The first 60 days of Kenya Kwanza in power has seen the Director of Public Prosecution, Mr. Noordin Haji, dropping many high profile cases associated with Ruto allies.
This is contrary to what KK pledged in their manifesto, a binding contract between them and the citizens where they stated that they will allow independent institutions to carry out their duties as enshrined in the constitution.
But DPP Haji in a move aimed at conforming to the demands of the new regime has withdrawn many cases including a Sh19 million graft case against former Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa. He dropped the case under Section 87 (A) of criminal procedure as he also cited lack of enough evidence, paving way for her to become the new CS for Public Service and Gender in Ruto Cabinet.
As the looting case was being dropped, Jumwa also succeeded in coercing Ganda family to withdraw a murder case in which she had been charged alongside her bodyguard Geoffrey Okuto for killing Michael Ngumbao Jola.
She applied to turn into prosecution witness, throwing her bodyguard and rumored lover under the bus.
Haji has also dropped Sh7.5 billion corruption case against the Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua under Section 87A as he claimed that investigations into the case were not complete and some areas were not adequately covered.
Like Gachagua, the DPP blamed the previous regime of using the former DCI boss, George Kinoti, to engineer graft cases against Ruto allies and Kenya Kenya operative for political purposes.
Earlier this week, Gachugua again got another reprieve after the court ruled that he is the legitimate owner of Sh1.5 billion disputed land near Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
A senior officer at the Ministry of Lands, Nyandoro David Nyambaso, said the land belongs to Wamunyoro Investments Limited, a company associated with DP Gachagua.
The beginning of Kenya Kwanza government has generally been marred by abuse of power to sanitize its tainted allies. Even the former Meru Senator Mithika Linturi had rape charges withdrawn against him as he went on to become the new CS for Agriculture with a baggage of 35 cases.
MOPA-k is warning that the new government is abusing the Criminal Justice System and must be stopped before things get out of hands. It’s arguing that though the law says that one is innocent until proven guilty, cases should not be botched on grounds that mirror political favoritism but allowed to get to full hearing and determination.
If KK is let free to operate like this, it will use the justice system to target political adversaries and advance extra-judicial killings. So far, it has said nothing about the bodies being discovered in River Yala where tens of Kenyans have been dumped.
Under this new regime, Kenya was recently on the global spotlight following the assassination of Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif. The investigative reporter was killed by Kenyan police under unclear circumstance but CNN has reported that Sharif’s murder was a case of ‘targeted killing’.
KK administration has been criticized for sitting pretty while assassination of a prominent journalist is carried out in Kenyan soil. Sharif is said to have fled his country in August after sedition charges were leveled against him for criticizing government institutions and abetting mutiny within the military.
At the time of his killing, which police say was a case of mistaken identity; Sharif was allegedly working on an investigative piece which was going to expose massive corruption in Pakistani government.
Kenyan authorities have not been vocal over the murder which is not different from the killing of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabia mercenaries in Turkey in 2018. Will that loud silence be the government’s response when a Kenyan is murdered?
The only case KK is pursuing on extra-judicial killing is the one involving the murder of two Indian I.T experts and their driver who were killed by police officers who served in the Special Service Unit (SSU) which was recently disbanded by President Ruto.
MOPA-K which works closely with Transparency International-Kenya says it will not relent on carrying out its civic duty of helping Kenyans to hold the government accountable.
Under the leadership of Bradley as its National Convener, Christine Khabuya- Secretary, Robert Rotich- Rift Valley Coordinator, Lilian Muthike –Member and Dancun Oluoch – Media liaison, the group promises to keep an eye on Kenya Kwanza administration to ensure that promises on financial autonomy for National Police Service Commission among other items in the manifesto are met.
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