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Blame game will only hurt corruption war



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The blame gave over prosecution of corruption cases is quite absurd.

The citizens do not want to be bombarded with altercations about which agency is doing or not doing what; they want decisive action. They want the corrupt to be properly investigated, arrested and quickly tried and convicted if guilty.

The rest are details best reserved for the boardrooms.

For the past weeks, the contestation has been about which agency is delaying the prosecutions.

President Uhuru Kenya, the Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji and officials of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) have severally blamed the Judiciary for the slow adjudication of the cases.

The same argument can be extended to other criminal and civil cases.

At the weekend, Chief Justice David Maraga took up the gauntlet but threw it back to his aggressors, blaming the prosecution as no conducting proper investigations and hence bringing half-baked cases to court, some of which were thrown out.

This is telling: There is a game of ping-pong here and the danger is, critical issues are skirted as the protagonists fight to defend their turfs.

Mr Haji has given fresh momentum to the war against corruption.

In a matter of months, he has secured the arrest and prosecution of many top government officers suspected of mismanaging or purely stealing public resources. He has shaken the tree and the leaves are falling. Even then, most of the cases are stuck in court, ostensibly due to insufficient evidence to sustain convictions. And the law, as they say, is an ass. The suspects have been freed on bail to continue with their lives. For constitutional offices, the suspects have gone back to work, creating an awkward situation where one can easily influence investigations, intimidate witnesses or simply enjoy the benefits of their offices despite serious charges hanging over their head.

We have argued several times in the past that the war against corruption is never easy.

Many factors come into play. The Judiciary has the notoriety for delaying prosecutions. But the prosecution and the lawyers involved in the cases are culpable too. It is the lawyers who often seek adjournments over minor matters, which, altogether, prolong the determination of the suits.

Speedy adjudication of the cases is not negotiable.

But that cannot happen when the responsible agencies pull in different directions.

The police, DPP, EACC, national government and the Judiciary must strive for an expeditious determination of corruption cases. Blame game cannot help; it only illustrates the inability of our legal and policy systems to deal with corruption.

Let every agency play its part and stop shadowboxing.