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How the rich beat justice

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The arrest and arraignment of high-profile individuals over graft-related charges has often been marked with extensive publicity and fanfare, raising hopes among Kenyans that a lot of effort is being exerted to fight corruption.

Their lawyers will spend considerable effort using their best legal arguments to ensure their clients are released on bail.

After securing freedom, little comes out of the cases, as either they drag on forever, are terminated prematurely, or an acquittal is pronounced by the court “for lack of sufficient evidence”.

Prosecutors’ inability to secure timely convictions, or any at all, has mainly been blamed for the way most corruption cases are being handled, especially by investigators, police and prosecutors.

Some of the challenges range from lack of thorough investigations and overcrowded charge sheets to non-credible witnesses, and failure to comply with the law of evidence.

Law Society of Kenya President Allen Gichuhi says one of the persistent complaints is that where, say, five accused persons are charged with too many counts and prosecutors also line up too many witnesses, such a case ends up being convoluted.

“Some of the suggestions that have been made is the prosecution should sieve and identify the counts they are very confident they have all the evidence and can be concluded faster, then leave out the counts that are shaky, because at the end of the day, what matters is a conviction,” Mr Gichuhi.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has also saddled the criminal registry with many accused persons who arguably ought to have been dealt with separately.

Lawyer Nelson Havi says the trial ends up with a scenario where there are more than 10 accused persons with one charge sheet and about 30 witnesses.

“It is improbable that such a case can be determined within a year,” he says.

Lawyer Harun Ndubi adds that when the DPP opts to charge everybody, two challenges arise. First, there will be no witness.

Secondly, if more than 10 accused persons are brought together in one charge sheet and each is entitled to a lawyer of their choice, there will be too many lawyers seeking to address the court.

It gets complicated managing those lawyers in terms of their submissions, particularly if some of the accused persons have hired the services of more than one lawyer and each wants to cross-examine witnesses and address the court.

“So you find that you have a logistical difficulty because even getting a date that is convenient to all those lawyers is very difficult. That is why some of those cases have been allocated dates of next year. Because lawyers’ diaries are already clogged for this year,” he says.

Equally, it does not make prudent use of the criminal justice system to have 10 lawyers against one prosecutor.

However prepared, such a prosecutor may be outmanned. Many of the people who appear as accused are actually witnesses, and the DPP should target the suspect that bears the highest responsibility for a suspected offence with the others engaged as witnesses.

“There are people who may have played a role but they are very resourceful; they have the information. They should be made state witnesses,” says lawyer Okweh Achiando.

In cases where all the people involved were charged, the State has often called witnesses from related departments but who were not directly involved in the matter and may not be very helpful to the case.

A senior DPP counsel, who shared the prosecution’s perspective on the matter on condition of anonymity, says they are left with no option but to bring many witnesses because they are required under the law to prove the obvious, even matters that are not contested.

“The law requires that we call witnesses to state even that which is not in dispute. This is the reason why we have so many witnesses, and you can see that takes a lot of time,” the DPP counsel said.

Further, looking at those charged with graft, if it is a company, it often comes out that all the accused had a role to play, and proving the charge of conspiracy will only require that all those involved be charged.

“We have been struggling with the issue, whether to prefer charges only to the main players in the offence. However, you find that each had a role to play and they all need to be charged so that we can demonstrate the chain leading to the offence,” the DPP counsel said.

Ever since the corruption division was created, many cases have been brought to court. DPP Noordin Haji has been particular that no one will be spared.

But his efforts are being constrained by the lack of capacity in terms of personnel and time to prepare.

There are approximately 900 State prosecutors against an ever-increasing number of corruption cases and others pending in court.

“Many of these white-collar crimes have very voluminous documents and need thorough review of the documentation for purposes of prosecution. This seldom happens, and often the prosecution ends up adding additional information as they go on with the trial. So they end up prosecuting a case piecemeal,” lawyer Havi said.

The law that clearly stipulates the rights enjoyed by all accused persons has also constrained the DPP’s free will in managing some of the suspects who bear the greatest responsibility, such as having them denied bail to deter others from engaging in graft.

This, in addition to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, has seen courts release suspects on bail irrespective of the nature of the economic crime committed.

by nation.co.ke

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Entertainment

Nyashinski’s wife shows off her engagement ring

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Mrs Nyamari a.k.a Nyashinki’s wife – Zipporah Bett – has a message to thots and hairazzzz.

The fashionista who owns a design clothing shop dubbed Zia Fashions has spoken up for the first time since her traditional wedding.

A fortnight or so ago, rapper Nyashinki accompanied by his boys went to Nandi to pay dowry to Zippy’s parents.

It went well.

Now, she is official engagement to get married to one of Kenya’s eligible bachelors.

Today, she showed off her ring and sent a cryptic message.

Zippy, wrote, ‘bet you can hear my laugh from there…’

By Mpasho

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News

Boy, 9, hangs himself

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A family in Nyandarua is mourning the death of their nine-year-old son, who allegedly killed himself.

Nyumba Kumi Initiative chairman Stephen Njuguna said the boy was reported missing early Wednesday and a search team was mobilized.

Mr Njuguna said that the body of the boy was found dangling from a tree in a maize farm near his home.

“We do not know why the boy killed himself but police have launched investigations,” Mr Njuguna said.

He added that he was yet confirm reports that the boy had differed with some of his family members.

The boy’s mother Esther Mumbi said her son left home on Tuesday and never returned.

“He informed me that he was going to his grandmother’s compound to get some fruits but he never returned home.

“I was later informed that he and his elder brother had a tiff before I arrived home,” said Ms Mumbi.

Nyandarua Police Commander Gideon Ngumi  said the body of the victim was moved to JM Memorial Level Four Hospital awaiting postmortem.

BY nation.co.ke

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Popular content developer Abel Mutua, wife celebrate 11 years together

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Content developer-cum-actor Abel Mutua and his wife Judy Nyawira today celebrate 11 years together.

Abel, credited for the success of comedians Njugush and Dj Shiti, wrote a heartfelt yet humorous message to his better half:

“Enyewe God ni msoo kama hapa ndio tumetoka babe! Happy anniversary love. Tungeenda katrip lakini mfuko inainsist tugonge kikombe ya supu na mutuch pale kwa Wangai.

“Leo nilikuwa nikuharibu na mutura ya thao lakini soo tatu nimenunua tokens. Wacha tuone ya soo saba inatoshana aje.

“I love you my baby. 11 years down 89 to go. After 100 Wacha tusample maraiya wengine tafadhali,” he wrote.

Njugush, a close family friend, also sent the couple a comical message:

“@judynyawira una nguvu…kuishi na mtu kama @abelmutua nyumba moja a whole 11 years! Happy anniversary…fanya kazi ya bwana.

“Abel makucha ndio bado hujaacha kukula lakini tujipatie another 11 tuone kama utabadilika….ni thahiri kuwa unaendelea kuzeeka huku mkeo akizidi kupyengekatuko nawe pensioner…lakini nyinyi wawili ni waroho safi ajaaabmnajua siwapendi! #RealOnes,” wrote the comedian.

Meeting

According to Abel, he met Judy at Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) during his last year of study.

The Mutuas.

“I never dated in college until the last semester of my final year. And guess what, that girl I met two months before I left college ended up being my wife,” he said in a past interview.

The couple tied the knot in 2015 with Dr Ofweneke emceeing the event for free after their wedding budget ran out.

Workaholic

Abel, who is the mind behind popular local shows ‘The Real Househelps of Kawangware,’ ‘Hapa Kule News’ and ‘Sue na Jonnie’ once admitted to collapsing in the bathroom due to exhaustion.

“After four years of constant writing and acting, I collapsed in the bathroom one evening from sheer exhaustion and I knew it was time to take a break.

“I’d overexerted myself. I felt I had nothing left to give so I quit my job, which some thought was very stupid and some thought was very brave,” he narrated.

The multitalented content creator co-owns Phil-lit Productions with Philip Karanja, who he also met at KIMC.

Congratulations Abel and Judy.

By SDE

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