The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) is slowing down the prosecution of graft suspects ahead of the August General Election.
The ODPP, in a statement on Tuesday, said while the prosecution and fight against corruption remains a strategic focus for the office it will not be a priority for the next three months.
The Noordin Haji-led directorate noted that the office intends to prioritize election-related offenses, Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), Terrorism, and Terrorism Financing ahead of the polls.
“It is noteworthy to note that the Fight against corruption remains our number one priority and will remain so even during this election period,” the ODPP stated adding, “Prioritization enables the ODPP to devote resources, time, and funds to cases that will have a direct bearing on the election of leaders on August 9, 2022. Invariably this will include cases of corruption directly impacting the elections during this period.”
While urging Kenyans to elect graft-free leaders in the forthcoming polls, the ODPP noted that the burden of picking the right leaders lies with voters.
“Instituting prosecution against political figures accused of corruption will not stop them from seeking elections. It is important to note that the law only stops those convicted for more than 6 months from seeking elections, not their prosecution,” the ODPP added.
“Citizens are given the power to exercise their constitutional rights to vote for trustworthy leaders, as outlined in Chapter 6 of the Constitution. Voters can look at those whose cases are still being investigated, currently in court, and those named by the EACC to make informed decisions about the caliber of leaders they elect to office. Let us start fighting corruption from the ballot!”
The statement comes at a time several leaders charged with graft are seeking elective seats in the next elections.
Notable figures include former governors Mike Sonko (Nairobi) and Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu), who are seeking to recapture their seats after being kicked out of office over abuse of office and corruption.