Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has expressed his satisfaction with the Court of Appeal’s upholding of a High Court ruling barring governors and other public officials facing corruption cases from accessing their offices.
Haji is happy that the court rejected an appeal by governors to have them remain in office while trials are going on.
The Council of Governors had wanted the ruling by High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi quashed. In her July judgment, she said governors and other public servants charged with criminal offences should stay away from their offices.
Through a statement sent to newsrooms, the State prosecutions head termed today’s (20th December) decision as a landmark and a big win in the war on graft.
“Most importantly, the court has upheld the centrality of public interest as an essential consideration where public officials abuse public trust,” Haji said.
DPP also cautioned leaders against misusing their positions, warning that his office would deal with them, regardless of their political affiliations.
“It is the duty of all those who are placed in positions of trust to understand that the public requires to be served and not consumed,” he stated.
Recently, Haji fought a decision reached by the Senate that had advised governors suspended over corruption cases to open parallel offices if a court denies them access to designated offices.
Impeached Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu had taken the Senate cue to have a new office opened, but he backed down after the DPP gave him a tough warning.
Three governors, Mike Mbuvi Sonko (Nairobi), Moses Lenolkulal (Samburu) and Waititu, are suspended after getting implicated in corruption allegations.
More governors fear that once arraigned, this ruling might spell doom for them.
It has created tension between the governors and their deputies as some are already warming to the possibility of taking charge as county chiefs once their bosses are charged.
Deputy governors through their spokesperson, Laikipia Deputy Governor John Mwaniki, have maintained that governors must leave office once arraigned.