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CJ Maraga meets top judges amid criticism over graft war

By NATION REPORTER
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Chief Justice David Maraga on Friday met top judges from across Kenya following days of sustained pressure and accusations of being stumbling blocs in the war on corruption.

The CJ met the Court of Appeal president, principal and presiding judges at the Milimani Ceremonial Hall in Nairobi.

Kenya has stepped up its war on corruption but the public and other observers are keener on convictions, especially of big fish.

In addition, there have been complaints that the courts are slapping suspects on the wrist with minimal bails, issuing anticipatory arrests orders and giving injunctions arbitrarily.

As part of efforts to tame the vice, President Uhuru Kenyatta led the two-day National Anti-Corruption Conference at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi last week.

Key figures at the meeting included CJ Maraga, Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, Attorney-General Paul Kihara, Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka and representatives from the public and private sectors.

Speakers at the meeting gave reports on the vice, discussing subjects including what constitutes corruption and ways in which the public and authorities can cooperate in order to tame it.

They also detailed the actions they intend to take, many corruption cases having been brought to light over the years. Organisations facing corruption scandals include the National Youth Service, the National Cereals and Produce Board, the Kenya Pipeline Company, Kenya Power and the National Hospital Insurance Fund.

President Kenyatta has also taken criticism but at that meeting, he revealed proposed radical changes in the fight, saying he had “gone back to the drawing board”.

The United States reiterated its support, the then ambassador Robert Godec telling the summit that, “Corruption is theft from Kenya’s people and has long undermined its prosperity.”

Mr Godec noted that support by the US will be in the form of coordinated systems to end redundancy, sustained awareness campaigns, support at both the county and national levels.

He also said the US will work with business communities to ensure they adhere to codes of conduct, help Kenya build capacity, strengthen public financial management systems and elevate partnership with the country.

Mr Godec also said the US will continue to help Kenya seize and return stolen assets back to the country for public good.