Ego trips: Legislators summon Haji, Kinoti

Friday, July 24th, 2020 00:00 |
Fading bromance: DCI George Kinoti (left) with DPP Noordin Haji during happier times. Photo/PD/FILE

Parliament has now convened a meeting to thrash out turf wars between the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) over the control of the unit charged with seizing assets acquired through corruption.

The newly elected chairman of the National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) Muturi Kigano told People Daily that the committee had summoned all members of the Multi-Agency Team (MAT) bringing together officers from the DPP, DCI, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the Asset Recovery Authority (ARA) and the National Intelligence Service (NIS) to iron out what he termed as “ego wars” between the various players involved in the fight against corruption.     

Mediation meeting

The meeting was initially scheduled for this week but was been postponed after the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi banned meetings of all parliamentary committees and ordered staff to work from home in a bid to check the spread of the coronavirus disease.

The meeting will now be held immediately parliament resumes normal business, according to Kigano.

Agencies fighting corruption have been operating under MAT in order to achieve well-coordinated results.

“Although I am not in a position to authoritatively say what the problem between the DPP and DCI is, your guess is as good as mine.

The problem seems to be as a result of ego by some people to be seen to be above others,” Kigano told the People Daily.

JLAC, Kigano said, is determined to bring sobriety and a proper working relationship between the two powerful government agencies whose fallout threatens to impede the war on corruption.

Sources at the Office of the President intimated to the People Daily that the current war between the DCI George Kinoti and the DPP Noordin Haji had last week forced the government to withdraw from Parliament proposed radical anti-corruption laws at the eleventh hour.

ARA, which is headed by Ms Muthoni Kimani, currently falls under the DCI. 

So far, the agency, apart from recovering hundreds of millions of shillings from individuals charged with corruption, has moved in to freeze accounts of high ranking officials.

Government sources now say the proposed laws had been aimed at clipping the powers of the DCI, particularly on investigations in corrupt related matters and assets recovery and freezing.

Kinoti and Haji, hitherto comrades who in their early days in office, traversed the country holding hands, as they preached the gospel of anti-corruption and took on the mighty in the land, have since fallen out.

Since the fallout early this year, Kinoti’s office has been accusing the DPP of sitting on files sent to him seeking his consent for prosecution.

But Haji, who has spiritedly denied claims of a fall-out, has lately sidelined Kinoti’s office and has been dealing directly with the office of the Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai.

The DCI’s office accused the DPP of usurping the role and mandate of police officers to investigate, arrest, draw up and sign charge sheets before presenting them in court as stipulated under Cap 75 of the Criminal Procedures Code (CPC).

Media creation

“The so-called fallout is a creation of the media. I have also been reading about it in the press. I think you are in a better position to tell me more about that fall out,” Haji told the People Daily yesterday.

The apparent fallout was brought into the public limelight by Ms Kimani who had written to National Assembly’s Leader of Majority Amos Kimunya protesting the proposed amendments to various Acts on corruption.

The Statute Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 sought, among other measures, to amend the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act to (POCAMLA) include EACC officers among those authorised to seize assets.

The legislative proposals also sought to make the DPP and the EACC Chief Executive Officer members of the Anti-Money Laundering Advisory Board.

The Bill said to have been drafted by the EACC and ODPP without the involvement of ARA, DCI and the Attorney General’s office, was also proposing to empower the anti-graft agency to institute asset recovery proceedings as well as monitor bank accounts held in foreign accounts and operated by state officers.

Ms Kimani in her protest letter, argued that ARA is the only entity mandated to “identify, trace, freeze and recover proceeds of crime” and not the EACC.

She warned that the amendments to introduce EACC officers as authorised to seize assets can be challenged in court.

“The EACC should, if it identifies any gaps, propose amendments to any other law outside their mandate, and not to POCAMLA,” the ARA boss said.


Yesterday, Ms Kimani insisted they had protested against the proposals due to lack of consultations.

“I cannot say whether there was a sinister motive or not, but it is in bad taste for anybody to draft laws affecting your office without consulting you. Don’t you think that is disrespect?” Ms Kimani stated.

Sources at the Attorney General’s office intimated to the People Daily that the proposed amendments would have watered down several laws among them the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act; Criminal Procedure Code; Evidence Act; Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act; Public Officer Ethics Act; Counter-Trafficking in Persons Act, Leadership and Integrity Act and the Bribery Act.

“This would have been a major coup against the DCI had the AG and the ARA boss not protested to have the proposals withdrawn,” said a source at the AG’s office.

ARA’s victims have included government officials, politicians, high profile businesspeople and wheeler-dealers.

Once it pounces on an individual, the penalties are grave as the victims are barred from running businesses, pay cash bail when charged while others are forced to avoid financial institutions for fear of leaving a money trail.

“Some people in government consider ARA to be a rogue entity that needs to be tamed,” says the senior officer in the AG’s office who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

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