Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has trashed claims by some politicians that the anti-graft purge is partisan and termed it a worn-out mantra.
In an exclusive interview with the Star, Haji said communities being used to shield graft kingpins are themselves victims of massive looting in government.
“We are 50 years-plus as a country, we are beyond that. It has become a tired narrative. It needs to stop and I think Kenyans can read between the lines,” Haji said, echoing similar sentiments by President Uhuru Kenyatta
“When these individuals are looting public coffers, none of those villagers or tribesmen were benefitting. If anything, they are the biggest losers…It’s not about politics, it’s not about tribes, it’s about people who have looted public resources,” the DPP emphasised.
A section of politicians allied to Deputy President William Ruto have claimed the relentless anti-corruption war is targeted at the Kalenjin community.
Ruto himself has remained silent as his lieutenants attack the process, sometimes right in his presence.
Related: Graft war about crime suspects, not communities, DCI assures
The DPP, who was deputy director of the spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, says politicising the graft war is his biggest headache.
“My biggest challenge is, of course, the politics and how to navigate it. I mean the politics of interpreting every single move to mean you are targeting a certain tribe or certain class or calibre of people — and misinterpreting each step that is taken with the best of intentions,” Haji said.
“Even a stone, when the rain drops on it continuously, does crack and I am afraid sometimes, at some point reason is being drowned by selfish interests. Instead of seeing the bigger picture, we are being narrowed to focus on things that should be inconsequential.”
But a confident Haji says he is never and would never be intimidated by twisted misinterpretations of his work.
For the first time, the teetotaler and observant Muslim opened up about why he applied for the demanding job. He is the son of Garissa senator Yusuf Haj.
“For a long time, I saw the danger of my sitting down and saying let somebody else sort out that problem. I felt it was time to come forward and try to make a difference for Kenya. I was already doing that but I thought the ODPP would be a good place to try and bring change. A change in how things ought to be done,” Haji said.
The quest to forge a better Kenya is Haji’s driving force.
“My family is also very important for me and of course their future. But the future of my family is linked to a prosperous peaceful Kenya. So when I wake up, I want to ensure that I leave behind a Kenya that everybody is proud of,” the top prosecutor said.
Read also: Ruto’s allies fight back at graft war
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