Kenya

Noordin Haji, George Kinoti, Kenya

Noordin Haji, head of public prosecutions in Kenya, is the urbane son of one of the country’s most prominent families. George Kinoti, born in the slums, rose from burly beat cop to head the powerful police investigation department. Together, they are building corruption cases against top Kenyan officials. This week, the finance minister and other officials were charged with financial misconduct, marking the first time police have arrested a sitting finance minister in an east African nation notorious for graft. Both men credit their success in part to an unlikely friendship forged while working together in the field. “Prosecutors and investigators never worked together, but since me and Kinoti came into office that has changed,” Noordin Haji told Reuters at his Nairobi office, where leather-bound law books and the graceful arabesques of Islamic art line the walls. “We do have a personal relationship as friends,” said the trim, silver-haired 46-year-old, appointed director of public prosecutions (DPP) last August. “We are able to sit down and agree without having turf wars.” The first big case the two worked on together last year was the alleged theft of nearly $100 million from the National Youth Service. Kinoti hand-picked officers he could trust to work on the case, Haji said. Prosecutors charged 43 suspects, including a principal secretary, the most senior career bureaucrat in a ministry. The case against them is still ongoing, but five banks have already been fined nearly $4 million for failing to report suspicious transactions. Not everyone from theContinue reading

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Henry Rotich - Kenya News

Kenyan Finance Minister Henry Rotich was arrested on Monday on suspicion of financial misconduct related to the construction of two dams, an unprecedented detention of a sitting minister for corruption in a country notorious for graft. Charges against Rotich, announced on Monday, stem from a police investigation into the misuse of funds in a dam project overseen by the Italian construction company CMC Di Ravenna. Rotich denied any wrongdoing in a large newspaper advertisement in March. The company has previously denied any wrongdoing. Rotich and his co-accused face eight charges, ranging from conspiring to defraud and financial misconduct, Noordin Haji, the director of public prosecutions, said. The minister and other officials will have to resign immediately, he said. Rotich was arrested shortly after the charges were announced, George Kinoti, the head of the police Directorate of Criminal Investigations, told Reuters in a text message. Suspects must be produced in court within 24 hours of an arrest. The minister will be charged along with 27 other people, including Italian Paolo Porcelli, the director of CMC di Ravenna; and Rotich’s number two at the ministry, Kamau Thugge, the principal secretary. “They broke the law on public finance management under the guise of carrying out legitimate commercial transactions, colossal amounts were unjustifiably and illegally paid out through a well choreographed scheme by government officers in collusion with private individuals and institutions,” Haji told a news conference. The two dams were budgeted to cost 46 billion shillings ($446 million), he said, but the treasuryContinue reading

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Court Order - Judge Judgement

Kenya’s High Court on Friday upheld sections of the penal code that criminalize same-sex relations, a disappointment for gay rights activists across Africa where dozens of countries have similar laws. The judges’ unanimous ruling in the closely watched case was followed by activists’ vows to appeal. Many in Kenya’s vibrant gay community had hoped the court would make history by scrapping the British colonial-era laws and inspiring other countries in Africa to do the same. Activists argue that the laws criminalizing consensual same-sex relations between adults are in breach of the constitution because they deny basic rights. The state should not regulate intimacy between gay couples, they say. One law punishes “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” and prescribes up to 14 years in prison for people convicted of homosexual acts. Another says “indecent practices between males” can bring up to five years in prison. The laws create an environment of fear and harassment even if they are not always enforced, activists say. “The issue is violence, discrimination and oppression,” one activist, Tirop Salat, said. The judges, however, said the petitioners had failed to prove how the laws violated their right to health, dignity and privacy and said the laws do not single out gay people. Kenya has no social pressure to legalize homosexuality, they added. “Acknowledging cohabitation among people of the same sex, where they would ostensibly be able to have same-sex intercourse, would indirectly open the door for (marriage) of people of the same sex,” said theContinue reading

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Uhuru Kenyatta - Kenya Politics

“The President is around, it doesn’t mean that because he is not seen in public he is not there, he has an office where he goes every day and he is working on several things,” Uhuru Kenyatta’s spokesperson Kanze Dena. “President Uhuru Kenyatta’s social media accounts are his personal accounts. He has the right to activate and deactivate them. He has his reasons (for deactivating the accounts) and we have to respect that.”Continue reading