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Credible, Efficient Criminal Justice System key to Inclusive Economic Development

Thursday 17th May, 2012, Nairobi, Kenya:  Efficient predictable criminal justice system is key to economic growth and investments. Government of Kenya is dragging its feet in ensuring the establishment of credible law enforcement and prosecutorial services. These two are crucible of justice system and their efficacy and reliability is fundamental in restoring investor confidence and managing the economy, International Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC) said today.

Only a credible, impartial and independent  National Prosecution and Police  Services that truly facilitate judicial system would help establish Kenya  as a nation where justice and the rule of law prevails making it more attractive to investors.

The government has to resist temptation of creating prosecution and police services that are susceptible to political manipulation. It has to establish credible institutions that inspire confidence among local and foreign investors who want a return on their investment and seek security for their consumers and their properties.

As the country’s economic revival making the headway, it was important for those in the criminal justice system to step up in order to match the plans and programs of social and economic development of the 21st Century.

While it is the role of the Executive to encourage investors to bring business into the country, it is the job of those involved in law enforcement and prosecutions, like National Police Service and Director of Public Prosecutions, to discourage local and international criminal syndicates from operating in this country and victimizing people. They have to demonstrate the will to provide justice and accountability to the Kenya public.

We note that the Kenya Coalition Government is yet to show clear foresight and political will to attain a vision of a country where people are held accountable for their crimes; a government that is dead-set at putting closure to the controversies that have eroded the credibility and legitimacy of public institutions; an administration that ensures a level playing field for foreign and local investors; and a nation whose people abide by and uphold the rule of law.

The President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have not chosen the path of leading by example but instead they are ambivalent about ensuring that people obtain justice, so those tasked to enforce country’s laws – including those in the prosecutorial service – are emboldened to ensure that those who break the laws do not profit from their crimes, but are made to pay for them.

We expect the Two Principals to be uncompromising in the pursuit of justice and must be unrelenting in their efforts to ensure that the victims of crimes, regardless of rank or status, obtain justice. This will boost and encourage potential investors to come to Kenya and do business. While efforts have been made in crime-fighting and prevention, performance is way below standards.

Kenya Government is yet to make an unequivocal message of demarcating criminality and accountability. For legitimate investors who wish to invest in the country and want a good return on their investment, they have to get it clear that criminals who want to engage in profit from illegal activities within the country’s borders, the government will make business impossible for them and will use all the resources of the state so that they are caught, duly tried and punished for their crimes.

ICPC observes that for Kenya to make a major leap forward, it must have political leadership with will, commitment and believes in walking the straight path, correcting the wrongs in the country, and upholding the rule of law to provide an environment that will spur inclusive economic growth and genuine national development.

Signed By:

Ndung’u Wainaina

Executive Director, International Center for Policy and Conflict

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