A Magistrate’s Court in Nairobi has ordered for the unconditional release of Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director Daniel Manduku after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) failed to charge him.
The MD had been arrested by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on Monday and spent the night behind bars.
The KPA boss is accused of abusing his authority by unlawfully recommending to KRA gazettment of Nairobi Inland Cargo Terminal (NICT) as a KPA peripheral facility to a firm that did not tender for provision of container warehouse services in Nairobi.
Drama ensued in court as the deputy director off public prosecutions Joseph Riungu said that he was not aware that the matter washeaded to court.
This puts to question the co-ordination between the office of the public prosecutions and the DCI in fight against corruption, making it look like an arrest for PR stunts.
Under normal circumstances, the DCI investigates such cases the forwards the file to the DPP, who in turn advises on the legal action to be taken, either an arrest or more investigation to make the case water-tight.
Previously, the failure in the war against corruption has been blamed against the Judiciary, but today’s development points fingers to the two law enforcement agencies that seem not to be working in harmony.
Manduku’s case gave opportunity for the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) through its president Nelson Havi to poke holes on its conduct, watering down their work.
Speaking after the case was dismissed and the two ordered to put their house in order, Havi who was representing Manduku blamed the DCI for failing to work with the DPP.
“The office of the director of public prosecutions is the office given the power to determine and continue criminal prosecutions. Any law enforcement agency, any state officer entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing the law, cannot have any legal or moral obligation to enforce the law, if s/he violates the law,” stated Havi.
Havi blamed the DCI for not complying with court orders and proceeding to arrest Manduku despite there being an anticipatory bail issued by the court against his arrest.
Havi is representing Manduku alongside Julie Soweto, who accused the DCI of litigating matters in the court of public opinion.
“It is because they want to preempt the charges and they want to twist the arm of the DPP to bring charges into court. The DCI will go and report to his boss, and we know who his boss is, ‘you see. I have done my work, it is the DPP who has refused to do his work’. Today the DCI has been exposed. There is an ulterior motive behind the prosecution of Dr Manduku,” said Ms Soweto.
Despite the hype in fight against corruption in the recent days, the DCI and the DPP have not had any senior government official convicted and punished as per the law.
The development now shows that the weak link in the fight against corruption could be on side of the DCI and DPP, who rush for arrests and prosecution without the much needed investigation.