Kenya’s Faith Leaders Question Public Prosecutions’ Independence, Ability to Handle Cases

Religious leaders in Kenya. Credit: CJPC Kenya

Religious leaders in Kenya are questioning the independence of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and its capability to pursue cases of corruption in the East African nation.

In a Thursday, December 15 statement that was read out to journalists, the religious leaders under the auspices of the Dialogue Reference Group (DRG) say the DPP ought to assure Kenyans of the independence of his office and its ability to prosecute graft cases. 

“We are concerned that the country has not exhibited firm commitment to deal with corruption, and are shocked by the manner in which the Director of Public Prosecutions is dropping cases touching on high level crimes,” DRG members say in the statement issued after a three-day conference on national dialogue on the state of the nation. 

The religious leaders who include representatives of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) add that DPP Noordin Haji’s “public confession … that he was influenced by the previous regime to frame people through court cases means the office has lost independence, and can no longer be trusted.”

In October, DPP Haji said former Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), George Kinoti, put pressure on him to charge Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua. 


Mr. Gachagua, a former Member of Parliament for Mathira Constituency, was charged with six counts of corruption related to Ksh 7.4 billion (USD 60 million) in July 2021.

“On DP Gachagua’s charges, the decision was made on the threshold. We were pushed by DCI himself through the media. We felt there was sufficient evidence to charge but later we discovered the documents were forged,” Mr. Haji said in an interview with local media.

In their December 15 statement, DRG members call on DPP Director to take time “for introspection and take decisive action to reassure Kenyans of the independence of this key constitutional organ.”

DRG includes representatives of KCCB, Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK),  National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), Hindu Council of Kenya (HCK), National Muslim Leaders Forum, Organisation of African Instituted Churches, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) and Shia Asna Asheri Jamaat.

Kenya’s faith leaders also call on the country’s President to establish a multi-sectoral task force to undertake an objective review of the implementation of the Kenyan Constitution 2010.

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They say the establishment of the task force is important as it will seek lessons from the failed process to review the Constitution of Kenya through the Building Bridges Initiative

DRG members add, “This will inform any further recommendations for amendment of the Constitution and legal framework of the nation. The principle of a people-driven constitution review process must be maintained at all times.”

“We have nonetheless taken note of the ongoing debate in the country, and reiterate our position that the country requires dignified opposition as a measure of promoting accountability in governance,” they say.

They continue, “We urge the President to facilitate adequate public participation so that all Kenyans agree on how to attain this measure.”

In their statement, the religious leaders also raise concerns about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), climate change, poverty, and economic reforms.


They urge the government to suspend the legalization of GMOs.  

“Recognizing the public discourse that has arisen following the resolution by the Cabinet to lift the ban on importation and production of Genetically Modified Organisms, we urge the government to suspend the decision until adequate public participation has been conducted,” they say.

The religious leaders also recognize the effects of climate change and hunger in the country, saying, “Here is great distress across the country due to food insecurity. Many families continue to sleep hungry.”

DRG members call upon the government to “initiate a multi-sectoral process that includes national and county governments to develop a workable national strategy to address climate change and ensure food security for all.”

“Poverty is a horror that continues to ravage the citizens of Kenya. We call upon the government to identify and implement measures that will empower Kenyans to absorb the economic shocks and the rising cost of living,” they say.

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Of special need, DRG members say, “is to focus on the youth who have been excluded from national life. We recommend a consultative process to develop an economic recovery strategy.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.