Civil society organisations defend Haji’s appointment as NIS DG

Thursday, May 25th, 2023 13:29 | By
Civil society caucus now wants DPP removed from office for ineptitude
DPP Noordin Haji. PHOTO/Courtesy

Civil society organizations have moved to defend the nomination of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji as the country’s spymaster saying withdrawal of cases before the court is not sufficient ground to question his suitability.

The organizations defended Haji’s nomination as the next Director General of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) saying the ODPP does not manufacture evidence, and only makes decisions based on the facts provided.

The organizations including the Consortium of Grassroot Civil Society Organizations and the Eastleigh Business District Association (EBDA) on Thursday, May 25 said Haji could inspire trust and effectively address the significant security challenges facing the nation.

"However strong a case is; without sufficient evidence, it cannot effectively be prosecuted. If the investigative agencies fail to provide sufficient evidence, the DPP cannot be blamed for withdrawing them.

"Also, Article 157 of the Constitution allowed the DPP to withdraw cases,” they said.

They were reacting to a petition by the National Integrity Alliance (NIA) to the Public Service Commission (PSC) opposing his appointment claiming Haji had a compromised track record.

NIA said Haji’s failed to fulfill his constitutional obligations while serving as the DPP, adding that he blatantly failed to adhere to provisions of Article 157 of the Constitution which prohibits commencement and/or withdrawal of criminal cases due to influence, coercion, consent or authority of any person.

The organizations, however, said some of the cases were withdrawn after it was later revealed that the investigating officers deliberately distorted crucial evidence.

In one of the cases involving businessman Jimmi Wanjigi whose case was dropped on Tuesday last week, it was established that the detectives opened a parallel file to mislead the DPP.

Haji's experience

The EBDA chairman Mzee Ahmed Yare said the DPP had considerable experience in law enforcement and the justice system that rendered him an exceptionally qualified candidate for this crucial role.

“Throughout his career, Haji has made remarkable contributions, including his exemplary work at the Attorney General's Office and his previous position as the Deputy Director of the Counter Organised Crime Unit at the NIS,” they said.

They said he had spearheaded significant reforms within the ODPP including the successful deployment of an electronic filing system, significantly enhancing service delivery and the establishment of the Prosecution Training Institute (PTI) which plays a pivotal role in developing the skills and capabilities of prosecutors in the region.

Under his leadership, there was also the review of policies and guidelines in the prosecution sector that disrupted the outdated and corrupt system of the past.

They said Haji worked closely with the social justice centres, human rights groups, and community-based organisations to advocate human rights, combat extrajudicial killings, champion the rights of women and
Consumer Rights Defender Stephen Mutoro has also supported the nomination of Haji.

"Mutoro said while he agreed with those faulting Haji for performing below par and generally offering little or no public inspiration, he was an excellent pick for the DG.

“In my view, he wasn't qualified as DPP boss. He is however an excellent pick for DG, NIS where he was previously domiciled. How come those complaining never complained about his performance as DPP? Mutoro asked.

“I urge the National Assembly to pass his vetting,” he added.

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