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Nasa MPs back Haji, want Mwilu and Obado to step aside



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Some National Super Alliance (Nasa) lawmakers have backed calls for elected officials facing corruption and murder charges to step aside and go without pay for the duration of the case.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji started the debate last month when he termed as a hindrance to the success of his work cases where State officials get to keep their jobs and salaries when facing various charges.

“I am frustrated that once I charge certain individuals, I can’t get them to face the law. Some remain in their offices to flex their muscles, to intimidate witnesses and interfere with investigations,” Mr Haji had told Citizen TV.

Citing the cases of Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu and Migori Governor Okoth Obado, who are facing abuse of office and murder charges, respectively, Mr Haji said public officials continuing to hold office on full pay and benefits after being charged in court undermined the course of justice.

On Thursday, MPs Anthony Oluoch (Mathare), Jared Okello (Nyando), Caleb Amisi (Saboti), Teddy Mwambire (Ganze), and Seme’s James Nyikal said that Mr Haji’s case should be backed by all.

“The DPP has a strong case in demanding that such persons temporarily stay out of office and even forego pay because the office and the pay give them the power to interfere with the cases, intimidate witnesses and, in some cases, compromise the justice system,” the MPs said in a statement they read at Capitol Hill, Nairobi.

On Tuesday, Mr Haji lost a case in which he had asked the court to bar National Land Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri from accessing his office in what could have provided him the leeway to make an application for the other top government officials to quit their jobs as their cases continue in court.

Mr Haji later announced he would appeal the decision.

The MPs also faulted the Judiciary for granting weak bail terms.

“What message does the Judiciary send when persons facing economic and capital offence charges are easily granted bail and are busy gallivanting across the country threatening witnesses, retaining access to offices and resources and undermining court processes?” the MPs asked.