DPP Haji sets new division to deal with electoral violence

Director of Public prosecutions Noordin Haji has set up an electoral justice and hate speech division to deal with cases of violence and incitement ahead of August 9 polls.

Haji told a meeting on security preparations a head of the general elections that he has also seconded some 200 special prosecutors to man such cases and ensure expeditious prosecutions.

Further, in liaison with Chief Justice Martha Koome, he has had some 129 court stations gazetted to give special attention to cases of incitement, inflammatory speech and violence related to the polls.

The meeting in Nairobi was convened by electoral agency IEBC to launch the electoral security arrangement programme developed by the commission together with partner agencies.

Haji said his office took the issues of electoral justice seriously and is keen on ensuring the alleged offenders are processed through courts swiftly.

The commitment by Haji followed announcement by IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati that he would forward the file of MPs Moses Kuria and Sabina Chege to the DPP’s desk to mount their prosecution over alleged breach of electoral code of conduct.

The two politicians are accused by the agency of breaching the codes by claiming that the 2017 polls were rigged and that the August one would also be rigged.

The High Court had earlier this week declared the electoral code of conduct committee of IEBC illegal and unable to enforce the code of conduct.

“Now that the High Court has declared that our code of conduct enforcement committee to be illegal, I will forward the files of Moses Kuria and Sabina Chege to his office after this function,” Chebukati said.

He said the commission’s role over the code will remain investigating the suspected offenders and then forward the files to the DPP.

But Haji said his team was up to the task only challenging the commission to ensure that the cases have water tight evidence that could sustain credible prosecution and secure convictions.

“The chairman has put me on the spot. We are ready for the cases. I just hope you have enough evidence,” Haji said.

This comes as the National Cohesion and Integration Commission commissioner Abdulaziz Ali Farah said that incidents of violence in campaigns were because “agencies tasked with doing their job are not working.”

“We would not be seated here if the agencies involved did their job well,” he said.

He said his commission is already worried over hate speech and incitement concerns because it was seeing to many red flags. 

Deputy Inspector general of police Edward Mbugua, who represented the police IG Hillary Mutyambai, told the gathering that the police force was ready to deal with any case of violence to ensure security. 

“I can assure you,we will have a peaceful elections,” he said. 

Registrar of Political Party Anne Nderitu said any framework of securing the elections must involve politicians and political parties if it is to succeed. 

“They are the owners and the customers of the process. Any intervention that does not directly engage the political parties and contestants will not do well. We must rethink the strategy,” she said. 


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