Transparency International has withdrawn the 2019 Leadership Integrity Award awarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji.
In a letter to Haji, Transparency International cited the withdrawal of high-profile corruption cases by Haji, including those for which he was previously recognised, as one of the reasons the award was withdrawn.
"We write to you regarding the Leadership Integrity Award (State/Public Officer) that was awarded to you in 2019 by Transparency International Kenya. The Leadership Integrity Award was, at that time, bestowed upon you in recognition of the role played in the criminal justice process, particularly in ensuring the prosecution of serious corruption cases and providing strategic direction to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP," the letter read in part.
"Regrettably, we have received public petitions and conducted an assessment based on concerns raised by the public and our partners championing integrity in Kenya. These petitions have raised serious allegations regarding the withdrawal of high-profile corruption cases, including those for which you were previously recognised, resulting in the loss of public funds."
Among the complainants who led to the withdrawal of the award include the National Integrity Alliance (NIA), which has been opposed to Haji's recent appointment as the director general of the National Intelligence Service (NIS).
"In light of these concerns and after careful consideration, Transparency International Kenya has made the decision to withdraw the Leadership Integrity Award (State/Public Officer) conferred upon you in 2019, based on our firm belief that maintaining the highest standards of integrity is crucial for all recipients of our awards. We thus require you to give back the certificate and plaque issued to you for the award," the letter added.
NIA's accusations against Haji
Opposing the appointment of Haji as the spymaster, NIA accused Haji of gross misconduct, incompetence and non-compliance with the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
"Mr Haji has in the past demonstrated gross misconduct, incompetence and non-compliance with the Constitution of Kenya 2010, speciﬁcally Chapter 6 on Leadership and Integrity, the Public Oﬃcer Ethics Act 2003, the Leadership and Integrity Act 2012, the Oﬃce of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 2013, and the Decision to Charge Guidelines 2019," NIA stated.
"In the past eight months, Kenyans have been astonished by a pattern of the withdrawal of corruption cases involving certain politically connected individuals, a number of whom have been appointed to executive positions, which raises doubts about the DPP's impartiality and his commitment to ﬁghting corruption — a pervasive problem that continues to hinder Kenya's progress."
Among the cases withdrawn by Haji include the case of former NHIF CEO Geoﬀrey Mwangi and 17 others (Ksh 1.1 billion), Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua (Ksh 7.3 billion), Communications Authority of Kenya chairperson Wambui Mary (tax evasion case of Ksh 2.2 billion), Gender CS Aisha Jumwa (graft case of Ksh 19 million) Ben Chumo (Ksh 400 million) and Ken Tarus (Ksh159 million).