Concern As Fight Between Former Besties Haji and Kinoti Gets Worse, Shout at Each Other Over Zoom Meeting

The bellicose power struggle between Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti now threatens to undermine one of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy dreams.

Infighting among Multi-Agency Team (MAT) members turned hostile last week when a virtual meeting of MAT members degenerated into harsh exchanges with one official reportedly telling off another that they were junior to them and terming the agenda of the meeting suspect.

One camp reportedly has Haji, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) boss Twalib Mbarak, Financial Reporting Center (FRC) director Saitoti Maika and Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai who were plucked from the National Intelligence Service.

The other has Kinoti, Attorney General Paul Kihara, who chairs MAT which is tasked with coordinating the anti-corruption war, and Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) Director Muthoni Kimani.

Sources said the Office of the DPP (ODPP) and EACC, which are now working closely after the DPP’s fallout with the DCI, pride themselves as the only autonomous institutions that report directly to Parliament hence their leaders should wield more clout.

Yesterday, Senate Minority Whip Mutula Kilonzo Jnr asked the President to rein in MAT members arguing the infighting will undermine the war on graft.

“The President should act. Though they are independent offices, he formed MAT through an Executive Order to ensure synergy in the graft war. He must intervene to end partisan wars,” said the Makueni senator.

The tiff was triggered by the proposed changes to the law designed to hand the EACC more powers in anti-money laundering investigations and allow ODPP representation in an agency to formulate policy on anti money laundering. 

There is also a feeling the AG, ARA and DCI have ganged up to undermine their counterparts at ODPP, FRC and EACC. The latest developments are likely to escalate the standoff between the ODPP and DCI over operations. Sources said the ODPP plans to inform Mr Mutyambai that all files emanating from the service should pass through his office.

DCI has been sending files directly to the ODPP for action without involving the IG’s office in an informal arrangement which was aimed at ensuring speedy processing of the cases.The relationship between the DCI and the ODPP has deteriorated to an extent that some prosecutors who had been seconded to the DCI to help in perusing files before they are sent for action were recalled to Upper Hill, the ODPP headquarters.

“The relationship is bad and we urge that the concerned parties solve them soon. Nothing is moving,” said an officer aware of the developments. 

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