Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji (DPP) has announced plans to establish offices in remote areas to allow Kenyans conveniently report criminal matters.
Mr Haji said the offices will ensure that Kenyans at the grassroots access various services and also place them on equal footing with people in Nairobi and other areas.
“We have decided to go to the grassroots and we will not wait for the people to come to us. We want to ensure Kenyans get justice from all corners of the country,” said Mr Haji.
Speaking during a community dialogue meeting in Isiolo town where residents were allowed to air unresolved grievances, Mr Haji said his office has started collecting data that will guide it on appropriate investigators and prosecutors who will be deployed to the areas.
“The community dialogues, which allow Kenyans to air their grievances, will determine where the offices will be established as we endeavour to come up with policies to address the reported challenges,” he noted.
The DPP said his office had also initiated plea bargaining which offers alternative ways of solving petty cases outside court to reduce backlog and ensure quick completion of cases.
“Petty cases like those of people stealing a goat from each other should not go to court so that we reduce backlog in courts,” he added.
RIGHTS OF KENYANS
While reiterating commitment towards educating Kenyans on their rights and the channels to use to air their grievances, Mr Haji said his office is working with the Judiciary to digitise some of the court processes and speed up completion of pending cases.
On land issues, which he said is a thorn in the flesh of Kenyans, Mr Haji said his office and that of the Director of Criminal Investigations has already set up a special land unit to deal with the cases.
“We will see how best we can address the land issues in Isiolo in collaboration with the National Land Commission,” he said.
Isiolo Woman Rep Rehema Jaldesa and Senator Fatuma Dullo asked Mr Haji to initiate investigations into the conduct of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officers accused of killing poachers.
“We have filed a lot of complaints involving KWS and nothing has been done,” said Ms Dullo.
Amnesty International Executive Director Houghton Irungu said a total of 80 cases of disappearances and deaths involving officers from both State and non-state agencies have been reported this year.
Mr Irungu said at least 20 cases are of violence perpetrated by police and KWS officers in Isiolo.
“We are committed to ensuring that the good name of law enforcement agencies is not tainted by few individuals who take law into their hands,” said Mr Irungu.