Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua wants graft cases heard on daily basis, including on weekends, so as to ensure speedy conclusion.
“In the same way election petitions are heard continuously and within a set period, so should corruption cases. That way, the accused are afforded justice and the people of Kenya also receive justice,” Dr Mutua said Tuesday.
Speaking at a press briefing at his Mavoko office, the Maendeleo Chap Chap party leader urged the chief justice to set up a system where cases are speeded up “and accused persons are assured of justice either way”.
“Those who are innocent should be acquitted and those found guilty convicted and public monies recovered,” Dr Mutua said.
Kenyans, he said, are losing patience “with corruption cases that seem never to end and where suspects continue walking free on the streets and even organising campaigns using the same suspected stolen public monies.”
Dr Mutua said that the chief justice should consider having corruption cases heard expeditiously so that they are concluded within three months from the date of taking plea.
“As a people, we expect that this current case involving the Arror and Kimwarer dams will be concluded by October 31st of this year and the other ongoing cases of the NYS saga etc can be concluded by end of August 2019,” the governor said.
Speedy conclusion of cases, he said, will deny unscrupulous individuals a chance to tamper with evidence.
He added that The Judiciary should deploy enough officers dedicated only to the trial of corruption cases.
Judicial officers gazetted to hear corruption cases should be freed from the normal work so as to concentrate and hear the matters speedily, he said.
“As a country and indeed the President and Parliament, we must deploy enough resources to the Judiciary to hire more magistrates, judges, researchers and finance other related expenditures in order to build capacity to try and render decisions within the speedy timelines,” he said.
He vowed to push for the empowerment of the Judiciary “so that the war on corruption from reporting of incidences, investigations, trial of suspects and recovery of stolen resources runs smoothly at all levels”.
Dr Mutua said stolen money should be recovered to finance development projects and be a deterrent to public officials so that they are not involved in corrupt activities.
The governor hailed investigative agencies for arresting top government officials over the Kimwarer and Arror dams scandals
Dr Mutua said efforts by the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Directorate Of Criminal Investigations and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission in fighting graft are bold.
“Kenya is a country of great people and amazing resources. However, we linger as a poor and third world nation that borrows heavily due to inefficiencies and the devil of greed called corruption,” Dr Mutua said.
The governor also vouched for prosecution of more “big fish’’ involved in graft.
Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina said the fight against corruption should not be politicised in Parliament or public barazas.
Instead, institutions mandated to fight the vice should be accorded enough support to do their work.
“The biggest threat to the survival of this country is corruption,” Mr Maina told the Nation on phone.
He added: “Any citizen or leaders with good intentions should support the fight against corruption and all resources stolen from the public coffers returned to the country.”
Mr Maina also called for a lifestyle audit of public officials. He demanded that all public officials charged with graft should leave office.