By Winnie Kabintie
Kenyans on Twitter, popularly known as KOT, are accusing the judiciary of impeding the fight against corruption.
Under the hashtag #MkishikaTunawachilia, which loosely translates to “when you arrest them, we set them free” KOT is making a mockery of the courts for setting free government officials, who have been charged with corruption by issuing anticipatory arrest orders, bonds, and minimal cash bails.
Kibet Benard: Kenyans don’t want people charged in court with corruption released on bail, they want them locked in custody until their cases are heard and determined, and that’s their clarion call from Mombasa to Lodwar, Moyale to Namanga, Lamu to Kisumu. #MkishikaTunawachilia
Felix Mutua: Former PS Richard Lesiyampe was released by the courts. He later went on to brag about how he stole from his enemies. The judiciary has made thieves bolder. #MkishikaTunawachilia
AnalystKe: Courts are slapping suspects on the wrist with minimal bails issuing anticipatory arrest orders and giving injunctions arbitrarily. #MkishikaTunawachilia
James Wambua™:#MkishikaTunawachilia I express my discontent in judiciary’s handling of graft related cases always granting bail and bond to these suspects, what is the whole point of arresting them in the first place?
The protest follows the recent release of Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich on a sh 15 million cash bail, following his arrest on Monday over the Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal.
In what has been seen as an unprecedented effort to fight corruption in Kenya, DPP Nordin Haji has ordered the arrest and prosecution of various top government officials linked to diverse graft scandals. These include Kiambu governor Ferdinard Waititu, former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Migori Governor Okoth Obado among others.
Other suspects charged with corruption and released on cash bails have been individuals linked to NYS scandals and KRA top officials.
Chief Justice David Maraga has in the past responded to this criticism by saying that the courts can only prosecute suspects based on evidence but urged judges to expedite the cases.
The DPP in his recent statement announcing the arrest order for Rotich revealed that his office had sought legal assistance from UK and Italy to trace and recover proceeds of crime.
“In view of the international nature of these crimes, we realize that we cannot fight corruption on our own and as a strategy to fighting economic crimes, the office of the DPP has prioritized tracing proceeds of crime, benefits, and instruments,” he said.