Walking into the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) boardroom dressed in a black suit, Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji portrayed uncharacteristic composure before revealing information that will for a long time define Kenya’s system of governance.
For two days, speculation was rife on which Supreme Court judge was facing imminent arrest over corruption allegations.
For a person bursting the bubble of the second most powerful person in the corridors of justice, the eloquent DPP was as cool as a cucumber.
DCJ Mwilu had earlier been arrested at the Supreme Court and is now facing criminal charges including abuse of office and failure to pay taxes.
The judge was arrested after the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials flagged large amounts of money being transacted in accounts held at Imperial Bank which is now under receivership.
It was alleged that Mwilu used her office as a Judge of the Court of Appeal to unlawfully grant herself a benefit of Ksh.12 million.
The top prosecutor also confirmed that he had informed Chief Justice David Maraga of his decision to grant consent for the arrest and prosecution of the Deputy Chief Justice.
He explained it to be a gesture of courtesy between government agencies/organs that work interdependently.
Interestingly, this comes months after Mwilu was part of a six judge bench that nullified the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta in September 2017.
Since he was appointed, Haji has ordered the arrest of a flurry of high profile individuals as the war against graft hots up.
Former Kenya Power and Lightning Company (KPLC) Managing Director Ben Chumo, former National Lands Comission (NLC) chairperson Mohammed Swazuri, former Youth Affairs Principal Secretary Lilian Omollo and former National Youth Service (NYS) Director General Richard Ndubai have not been spared.
Ms. Omollo and Mr. Ndubai’s trial is slated for February 19. If they are convicted it will be a big win for a country that has grappled with runaway corruption since independence.
War on Corruption
Shortly after he was sworn in President Kenyatta warned that in his second term, there would be no sacred cows in the war against corruption.
To enable him rid off corruption that had dodged his administration in his first term,he purged the State’s top legal team and appointed Haji and Co who have given fresh impetus to the war against graft.
Tuesday’s bombshell confirmed that indeed the president will stop at nothing to ensure that he secures his legacy and the country’s resources are used for their intended purpose.
“This decision has not been taken lightly, but it is the right decision under the law. Investigating and punishing wrongdoing is difficult and painful, but it has to be done. Adherence to the rule of law binds and strengthens us as a Nation,” said Haji who has been on a roll since taking over the reins at ODPP.
Two years ago, President Kenyatta during a State House Summit on corruption, visibly frustrated by state agencies which had failed to rein in on corruption suspects famously posed to the nation “sasa mnataka nifanye nine jameni” which loosely translates to what do you want me to do?
It seems now that he has finally found a formula to slay the “monster” that was posing a threat to the country’s development agenda.