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Steer clear of graft, DPP Haji warns new prosecutors

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Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has warned 77 new state prosecutors against engaging in corruption.

“Unethical behaviour shall have no place within the ODPP. Be wary of corruption for own benefit,” he said.

Haji spoke during the graduation of the prosecutors in Nairobi after undergoing a two-month induction before reporting to their workstations.

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, Namibian Prosecutor General Martha Imalwa, Law Society of Kenya President Allen Gichuhi and retired Chief Justice Benard Chunga were present.

“The duty bestowed upon you as prosecutors don’t accommodate corruption neither do I,” Haji said.

Haji said Kenyans expect much from them as defenders of justice and that he has no doubt in their capability to deliver.

“Great expectations have been placed on your shoulders and I have no doubt in my mind that all of you are ripe for the calling to discharge your duties,” Haji said.

Matiang’i raised concern over congestion in prisons and remand centres. However, he is optimistic the prosecutors will help fast track the backlog of cases so that prisons are decongested.

“I’m ready to commit some of the resources from my office to help the ODPP. We will continue doing our part in supporting you,” he said.

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Deputy DPP Dorcus Oduor said many youths are languishing in prisons due to lack of lawyers to represent them in court.

She said more funds should be allocated to the state’s legal aid kitty to support the needy and vulnerable groups who cannot afford to hire lawyers.

Gichuhi backed her call by proposing a 30 per cent portion of funds collected from fines in courts be allocated to the kitty.

Matiang’i lauded Haji’s relentless effort in the fight against graft. He told the new prosecutors to follow suit.

The Namibian Prosecutor General told the prosecutors that their profession is not for the “soft-hearted or lazy people” but for the strong-hearted individuals who are ready to serve citizens.

“You are not going there to be loved but to make more enemies. Be a person who is responsible and honest,” Imalwa said.

Chunga told investigating agencies to work as a tam to succeed in fighting crime.

Witness Protection Agency director Alice Ondiek and representatives from Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, National Intelligence Service, the UK Embassy and Lawyers without Borders also attended the event.

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