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DPP Mr. Tobiko' s Performance Below Public Expectations

3rd January, 2012 /..International Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC) express strong reservation on the willingness, ability and competence of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr. Keriako Tobiko to conduct expeditiously, and with vigor, move the wheels of prosecutions and justice of high profile criminal as well as civil crimes.

Since assuming office, Mr. Tobiko has performed far below public expectations. He seems to live and believe his office is still under the armpit and tutelage of the office of the Attorney General. Mr. Tobiko has actually demonstrated his will to frustrate wheels of justice. This is despite the constitutional paradigm shift that created a completely new and independent institution to bring to an end impunity, corruption and abuse of public office.

This can be well exemplified by Tobiko’s failure to seriously pursue and prosecute post-election violence middle and low offenders. Further he lacks zeal to prosecute and get convictions even on minor charges relating to corruption brought against perpetrators despite him having constitutional powers to direct investigations and prosecuting cases involving high profile or politically connected people like the Deputy Chief Justice Case as well as a number of cases that he has terminated despite conclusive investigations. 

Under the Constitution, the DPP is obliged to ensure right to justice is secured by prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigations; and appropriate measures in respect of the perpetrators, particularly in the area of criminal justice, by ensuring that those responsible for crimes are prosecuted, tried and duly punished. Mr. Tobiko has failed this yardstick.

In the past, the mandate to undertake public prosecutions had been placed under the office of the Attorney-General. The AG’s office was however a propagator of impunity and its beneficiaries. The Constitutional solution to this quandary was to abandon the AG as the public prosecutor and established an independent office of the DPP as a way to ensure justice.

The DPP is constitutionally independent, secure and tasked with the responsibility to exercise the role of prosecution. This role has been guaranteed under Article 157 (10) of the Constitution which provides that “The Director of Public Prosecutions shall not require the consent of any person or authority for the commencement of criminal proceedings and in the exercise of his or her powers or functions, shall not be under the direction or control of any person or authority.”

This implies that the DPP cannot be controlled by the AG and he does not need permission from any authority to prosecute a case. We are urging Mr. Keriako to execute his constitutional responsibilities without fear or favour.  ICPC believes that meaningful prosecutions of those responsible for the crimes are a crucial component to achieving a durable peace as well as accountability, transparency and integrity in management of public affairs. Such prosecutions send the message, especially to would-be perpetrators, that no one is above the law. They also help to consolidate respect for the rule of law by solidifying society’s confidence in judicial institutions. This in turn helps cement peace and stability.

Signed by

Ndung’u Wainaina

Executive Director

International Center for Policy and Conflict

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