Activist sues DPP over nepotism in recent job advert

Kenya's Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji. Photo/courtesy

The Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji is on the spot after being accused of nepotism in job positions advertised last year.

Activist Memba Ocharo has moved to court seeking to stop the DPP from conducting interviews for the vacant positions.

The activist, through lawyer Danstan Omari, accuses Haji of nepotism after shortlisting candidates from his ethnic and religious group.

Ocharo wants the court to issue a conservatory order temporarily restraining the DPP from carrying out interviews, background and/or reference checks, causing gazettement, offering an employment contract and eventually assigning any duties to the shortlisted applicants for certain positions.

The positions include Principal Administrative Officer, Senior Supply Chain Management Officer 1 and Senior Principal Finance Officer.

According to the petitioner, the shortlisted candidates for the above positions depict nepotism as they come from the same religious and ethnic background as the DPP.

“The shortlisted candidates for the above positions come from the same religious and ethnic backgrounds as the Director of Public Prosecution which has raised eyebrows within the public on equal opportunities especially on matters of employment,” Ocharo said.

The office of the DPP advertised for various positions to be filled on 11th May 2021 in the print media where the deadline for submitting applications for qualified candidates ended on 17th June 2021.

The shortlist

After reviewing the applications of various candidates for the 15 positions, the DPP went ahead to publish a list of the shortlisted candidates on their website.

“The shortlisted candidates are due for an interview on diverse dates between 25th and 27th April at a venue known as Nairobi PTI,” Ocharo added.

The petitions avers that although the shortlisted candidates have a short at employment in the office of the DPP, Haji is clearly in contravention of article 73(2) of the constitution which provides for the guiding principles of leadership and integrity especially on the principle that leaders should not be guided by nepotism and favouritism.

“The actions by the 1st respondent do not embrace the representation of Kenya’s diverse communities under article 232 of the constitution,” the petition noted.

According to the court documents, the office of the DPP intends to carry out the interviews through its advisory yet it is the duty of the Public Service Commission to carry out interviews and placement of the candidates.

He added that the DPP has no mandate to do so as the same should be done by the PSC since the office of the DPP is not an independent office nor commission under the constitution.