BY SAM ALFAN.
An activist has filed an urgent application seeking to block a seminar planned for editors in Mombasa by Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji.
In the petition, Memba Ocharo wants the High Court to halt the five-day meeting scheduled to kick off on November 18.
Through lawyer Danstan Omari, Ocharo urges the court to suspend the alleged sensitization workshop for the Kenya Editors Guild to be held from November 18 to 21 in Mombasa as. The letter inviting editors to the workshop was authored by Caroline Muemba on behalf of the DPP.
“The court be pleased to issue a conservatory order temporarily directing Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji to forthwith stop or refrain himself from discharging function of the office of the DPP or setting foot in the office of Director of Public Prosecution,” urges Ocharo.
He also wants Treasury, Ethics and Anti-Corruption commission (EACC), Office of Ombudsman and Media Council of Kenya to account for the use or otherwise of Public funds.
He says that it was wrong and unconstitutional for the DPP to target editors who publish his cases that are litigated in all courts in the country.
He argues that DPP must demonstrate the sources of his funds to be used during the seminar saying it’s the National Assembly that allocates funds to his office that are used in litigation and payments of salaries and allowances pertaining that office.
Lawyer Omari says that the DPP has already gagged the media on two pending petitions seeking his removal in office, he cannot turn around and invite editors for seminar and the best people he could have invited are court reporters.
Memba further argues that following the filing of the five petitions before the Public Service Commission (PSC) seeking the removal of the DPP, the mainstream media and Social media platforms have been awash with debates as to the fitness of Haji to continue being in office and discharging his duties as is clear he is motivated by bias and favorism.
The petitions have been filed by among others sister to late Tob Cohen Hannah Straten, Francis Njiru and Grace Ita and Waiganjo Kirianjau,
“That subsequently, in what is clearly an attempt by DPP Haji to muzzle the media, intimidate them or uncountably misuse public resources through extraneous activities that were initially not contemplated during budget allocation by Parliament to the office of Director of Public Prosecution,” he added.
According to the petitioner, the letter dated November 12 is clearly a reactive approach by DPP Haji in order to mitigate the adverse publicity he has since gathered as consequence of his questionable discharge of the functions of his office.
The petition was been taken before Justice Anthony Mrima for directions.