Haji tells off critics over calls to resign

Friday, November 19th, 2021 00:00 |
Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji addresses editors in Mombasa. Photo/PD/NDEGWA GATHUGU

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has defended his office against criticism saying he will continue to discharge his mandate in accordance with the Constitution.

Haji said his office operates within the Constitution and therefore, he will not be cowed  and called for co-operation from all justice sector players to ensure fair administration of justice.

Haji was reacting to an activist who had filed a petition in court to stop the Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) retreat with the DPP in Mombasa.

“Those who are trying to challenge us in court for this meeting should refer to the Constitution that allows this meeting,” he said noting that he will not be cowed against exercising his right to give information.

The applicant, Memba Ocharo, in the petition filed on Tuesday, argued that it was wrong for Haji to host editors for a retreat yet they publish cases his officers litigate in court.

His lawyer Danstan Omari challenged the DPP to demonstrate the source of funds to be used during the seminar.

“Article 35 of the Constitution and Section 96 of the County Government Act 2012 provides rights to access to information, Article 35 1, particularly provides the right to access any information as required for the exercise or protection of any right for fundamental freedom,” said Haji.

Haji is also facing tough times with growing calls for his resignation. The DPP, who insists he will stay put, is fighting several petitions in court seeking his removal from office for alleged gross misconduct. 

Speaking in Mombasa, Haji urged the media to continue playing its role of shaping the agenda as well as giving an opportunity for the voiceless in the society.

“As a bridge between the various custodians of information and Kenyan public, you play a very key role in ensuring this access to information. Access to timely and accurate information is fundamental to a society governed by the rule of law,” said Haji.

Accurate information

He asked the media to continue discharging timely and accurate information for an intended purpose like enlightening the citizenry of their rights to participate in democratic processes.

“It’s also critical because you provide citizens with knowledge required to participate effectively in democratic processes.

More fundamentally an informed citizen is also likely to be vigilant against social ills,” he added.

 “Despite a lot of opposition and side talks as the only constitutional mandated prosecutions body, we will continue to strive for our independence,” he added.

He said In the 21 st century, the prosecutor has a responsibility of delivering justice which comes with specific obligations to ensure that the accused is accorded procedural justice and the culpability is decided with the basis of sufficient evidence.

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