On Monday, the Public Service Commission (PSC) established a selection panel to recruit a new Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Kenya. This position is to replace Noordin Haji, who now serves as the director-general of the National Intelligence Service. President William Ruto appointed Mary Kimonye, Shadrack Mose, Mary Adhiambo Maungu, Roseline Odede, Richard Onsongo, Bush Obwocha, Francis Atwoli, and Twalib Abdallah Mbarak as members of the selection panel. The PSC chairman, Anthony Muchiri, emphasized the importance of conducting the selection process in accordance with the Constitution, ensuring dedication, integrity, and fairness.
The Office of the DPP is responsible for prosecuting criminal cases in the country and is expected to operate independently as stated in Article 157 of the Constitution. Therefore, Muchiri stressed the need for meticulous selection of the DPP, emphasizing that the process must be open, transparent, accountable, lawful, and fair. The chosen candidate should possess a high degree of integrity, independence, and accountability to the Kenyan people.
The DPP’s office has a presence in all counties, with its headquarters located in Nairobi. Each county office is headed by a Chief County Prosecutor (CCP) who collaborates with the courts and investigative agencies to prosecute cases. The DPP assists these bodies in delivering high-quality prosecution services within their jurisdiction.
Arthur Osiya, the Principal Administrative Secretary in the Executive Office of the President, urged the selection panel to fulfill their responsibilities with integrity and transparency, adhering to the values and principles outlined in the Constitution, particularly in articles 10 and 232, as well as Chapter Six.
During the swearing-in ceremony, four out of the seven panel members took their oaths under the guidance of Jacqueline Manani, the Director of Legal Services at the PSC. Maungu, Odede, and Mbarak were absent but will be sworn in later in the week, with apologies for their absence.
Overall, the selection panel’s primary task is to find a suitable nominee for the position of DPP who will act fairly, maintain the public trust and confidence, and carry out their constitutional mandate independently. The authority of the DPP is derived from the Constitution and the ODPP Act of 2013, which grants powers to direct the Inspector General of the National Police Service to investigate any information or allegation of criminal conduct.