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April 23, 2018

[Statement] Why Noordin Haji wants to be Kenya's DPP

Noordin Haji, the nominee for the Director of Public Prosecution post, during his vetting by the National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, March 26, 2018. /PARLIAMENT MEDIA
Noordin Haji, the nominee for the Director of Public Prosecution post, during his vetting by the National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, March 26, 2018. /PARLIAMENT MEDIA

The statement by Director of Public Prosecution nominee to the parliamentary Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs

Thank you, Honorable Chairman and distinguished members of this committee, I am deeply honored to appear before you this morning. It is indeed a great privilege to be nominated to serve as the Director of Public Prosecution for the Republic of Kenya, a responsibility I accept with great humility.

I have dedicated most of my adult life to public service and l am honored and grateful to His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta for the nomination to serve the Kenyan People in yet another role. I am also humbled to have received overwhelming support and encouragement from Kenyans and the law enforcement community since my nomination.

Honorable Chairman, before I highlight aspects of my professional qualifications and experience, with your permission kindly allow me to give a brief background of myself. I was born on the 3rd of July 1973 in Malindi, Kilifi County.

My loving mother was a high school teacher and whose kindness and generosity to those in need even during those times she did not have much is legendary. My loving father was a career civil servant who served this country as an administrator starting from the lowest level and rising through the ranks in various positions with great honor, dedication and integrity.

CAREER GUIDED BY VALUES

Honorable Chairman, my career has been guided by values inculcated at an early age by my parents to whom l owe so much and who are blessed to see me participate in this vetting today. From them l learnt the values of Integrity, Hard work, Selflessness, Service to humanity and discipline, values that will continue to guide me in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions should l be confirmed.

Having been civil servants, my family constantly moved across the country. I began my formative years in school at DEB Nyahururu primary school subsequently attending from Standard 1 to 8 in different schools across the country such as Nakuru, Mombasa, Nyeri, Eldoret and Garissa to name but a few. This exposed me to the rich diversity of our Kenyan cultures allowing me to appreciate, at an early age, our interdependence as a Society.

I am proud to say that I am a husband and a father. Whenever l look at my family, my children, they represent millions of law abiding Kenyans who daily deserve to be protected from criminal elements. When l leave every morning they remind me of why l choose to serve within the justice system. If confirmed by this honorable committee as DPP they will be a constant reminder of why we must ensure that the wheels of justice roll seamlessly, efficiently and that justice is served for all.

I am an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya of 19 years standing. I began my public service as a State Counsel in the Office of the Attorney General, a foundation that has served me well over the years.

My public service continued as a member of the then National Security Intelligence Service, as a legal officer, where l was privileged to help set up the legal department. I served in various other capacities including as a Deputy Director in charge of Administration and onto my current position as a Deputy Director in charge of Counter Organized Crime.

Hon. Members, As Deputy Director my work includes advising the Director General NIS on Legal and Strategic matters on Organised Crime. I head coordination of Interagency Operations on organized crime, investigating, analyzing and compiling evidence for prosecution. In this role the collaboration with the Office of the Director of Criminal Investigations, Prosecutors, the Judiciary and other investigative bodies has over the years allowed me to develop a very broad, deep, rich and diverse experience in the criminal justice system. This accorded me a vantage point through which l have seen the opportunities and challenges within the criminal justice system which is a vital perspective necessary to be an effective Director of Public Prosecution.

Read: My father didn't influence my nomination, says DPP hopeful Noordin Haji

'SUFFICIENTLY EQUIPPED'

Over the past 19 years of service in a career that has spanned various sectors, my experience as a public officer in various capacities prepared me to understand the unique needs of investigators, prosecutors and law enforcement officers.

My experience as a State Counsel, a Legal officer, Investigator, Analyst and Administrator responsible for efficient coordination and utilization of Human, Financial and Material resources has equipped me with Strategic and Administrative leadership needed in this role.

My collaborations over the years with various law enforcement and investigative agencies, prosecutors and the judiciary has allowed me to play a central role in Operational leadership.

My regional and international exposure through partnerships, training and joint operations accords me the insights and skills needed to inject some 21st Century best practices in Public Prosecutions.

Honorable members, we are at a pivotal moment in the history of our country. We face complex and rapidly evolving threats.

As an Analyst, l am concerned to note that the last ten years has seen a rise in new threats like terrorism, drug and human trafficking, cyber-crime, financial and economic crimes that threaten the very existence of our country if left unchecked.

And of note, the rise of Mega corruption exacerbates all these threats. Corruption weakens our justice systems to effectively and efficiently deliver its constitutional mandate.

We must not lose perspective when discussing existential threats that could easily destroy and dismember our Nation. Our political divide must be put aside for once. We can no longer afford to define everything per our biases or political outlook especially in the face of these threats.

That is what the Kenyan people demand, that is what the taxpayers and law-abiding citizens deserve and that is what we must do as a country.

FIDELITY TO THE CONSTITUTION

Honorable Members, if accorded the honor of becoming the Director of Public Prosecutions, my fidelity to our constitution and the ideals it espouses for us in public service shall be my guide as l lead my team at the Office of the Director Public Prosecutions. I also intend to pursue a very specific set of goals in delivering the mandate of this office.

I will be keen on Re-casting, Re-tooling and Re-learning within the ODPP to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and accountability.

For Re-Casting, I envisage a 3 C approach of Collaboration, Cooperation and Coordination, the purpose of which will be to Re-Shape how ODPP operates. With this, Hon. Members, I intend to create synergies that will work seamlessly to bring about an efficient, effective and accountable institution that is critical within the criminal justice system.

I will collaborate and coordinate with local and international institutions and partners involved in the governance, justice, law and order sector.

I will enhance cooperation with the national police service, investigating agencies, the judiciary and key stakeholders such as the National Council on Administration of Justice, Law Society of Kenya, Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission, Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission, Civil Society amongst others.

Under the Re-Tooling I will endeavor to strengthen, enhance and grow the existing infrastructure in the following manner;

By championing a criminal management system that is holistic and integrated. I envisage a system that will link the whole criminal justice chain from investigations, prosecutions, the judiciary including the correctional services.

I will operationalize Section 52 of the ODPP Act and establish a prosecution inspection team that will ensure quality assurance, best practices and will monitor and evaluate the prosecution services offered.

I shall establish an Internal Affairs Section aimed at enforcing the code of conduct to ensure integrity and restore public confidence on the ODPP.

Honorable members, in view of the complex and rapidly evolving crimes, the traditional approach to litigation must change. It is important to Re-Learn our way of doing things at the ODPP.

I intend to equip our Prosecutors with the requisite skills and capabilities necessary to deliver their mandate within a Global context. To this effect l intend to establish a Prosecutions Practice Institute, offer continuous legal education and adaptation of International best practices in the country. Anyone who seeks to learn and improve his or her skills in the DPP’s office will get a chance.

Honorable Chairman, l have briefly enumerated my experiences, Knowledge, Partnerships and Associations which l know will be suitable for the position of DPP. I have the energy, drive and vision required to transform and lead the ODPP into a more efficient, effective and accountable 21st Century institution.

In conclusion honorable members; l want to speak to the Kenyan People, l will always be on your side! If confirmed, I will strive to be the Director of Public Prosecutions that you deserve and my pledge is to lead the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution in honoring my oath of service every single day that l will be in office. The constitution will be my guide.

I thank you for listening to me and l look forward to engaging further.

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