Keriako Tobiko: The Battle Rages

Published on 13th June 2011

Tobiko: Will he ride the storms?   Photo courtesy
The recent public grilling of nominees for positions of Chief Justice, Deputy chief Justice and the Director of Public Prosecutions by  Parliament’s Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee was not only impressive but also a significant historical step towards enhancing democracy, good governance and integrity in the country.

However, the resolution and recommendations made by the members of the Committee after the hearing clearly demonstrate that the legislators are not  yet ready for change in the country and are yet to come to terms with the reality of the realms and demands of the new constitution dispensation. It is really doubtful whether the legislators are committed to reforms that Kenyans have been yearning and agitating for.

Recommending Keriako Tobiko for endorsement by parliament as the Director of Public Prosecutions under the new constitution dispensation is a betrayal and a slap on the face of Kenyans by the members of PCIOC. Serious allegations have been made against Tobiko touching on his credibility and integrity which directly touches on the Chapter Six of the new constitution.

Serious economic crimes have been committed in the country that requires a person with impeccable and remarkable integrity and personality. Mega scandals such as Goldenberg, Anglo leasing and Triton (among others) are still pending and have not been resolved with the gist they deserve. Attempting to bring in a person with doubted guts and loyalty to preside over them is a mockery to the principles of good governance.

Going against the ethics of the constitution by legislators entrusted with making laws and policies  raises serious concerns on the implementation of the constitution and the reform agenda in the country.

The issue about Tobiko is not about ethnic or political party alliances as portrayed by a section of PNU and ODM politicians. It is a matter of integrity and confidence among Kenyans concerned with true reforms in the country. Quoting Hon. Ababu Namwamba of the PCIOC Committee, allegations made against Tobiko were  not just mere allegations but very serious claims backed with facts and witnesses and therefore cannot easily be dismissed or wished away by terming them tribal. The issue is not about Tobiko and his clan, tribe or whatsoever. It is about his character, integrity and performance as the Director of Public Prosecutions.

It is really disheartening to see some members of parliament reduce the Tobiko issue into some kind of ethnic contest. It is completely out of order and in bad taste to clear Tobiko for the position under the prevailing circumstances especially when his credibility is surrounded by allegations and claims related to corruption, conflict of interest and inefficiency.

Kenya is bigger than the two principals, parliamentarians or even the three nominees. Those who have been entrusted with responsibilities or given tasks in parliament, Committees or Commissions should realize that the mwanainchi is alert.

The biggest challenge Africa is facing today revolves around credibility and leadership. Like Kenya, most other African nations are in the same dilemma and are struggling to get rid of bad leadership that has reduced it to a begging continent. While other countries of the world are moving forward advancing their technologies and economies, Africa is still rotting in poverty and moving backwards.

European and Asian countries that were at par or below the economies of some countries in Africa have now become donors bilaterally. Kenyans and citizens of Africa must wake up and firmly demand for good governance from their leaders. Days of tribal Chiefs and dictators are long gone. It is now time for hard work, peace, unity, stability and development.

By Denise A. O. Kodhe,
Executive Director / CEO,
The Institute for Democracy & Empowerment ( IDEA)


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