Ingonga: Here’s my Agenda for the ODPP

The Office of Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) is a key institution in the facilitation of justice, a fundamental principle of our Constitution.

Established by the Constitution of Kenya (2010), it is the National Prosecuting Authority mandated to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court other than a court martial in respect of any offence alleged to have been committed.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is the head of the ODPP and operates independently as stipulated under Article 157 of the Constitution. However, the DPP is accountable to the public by presenting an annual report to the President and Parliament on the performance of the ODPP.

The DPP may also be required, on a need basis, to present a report to Parliament on a matter of national or public interest.

It is a privilege to serve as the third DPP since the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution, taking over from visionary predecessors who laid solid foundations.

I am committed to build on these by pursuing a threefold agenda namely: Building a people-centred prosecution service; creating an innovative prosecution performance framework and positioning prosecutions as an enabler of national development.

People-centred prosecution service

This approach will focus on both external and internal stakeholders.

For external stakeholders, this will be achieved by enhancing collaboration and coordination with other agencies in the criminal justice sector and other state and non-state actors, guided by a well-defined stakeholder management policy for the ODPP.

The internal staff is the engine that enables any institution to operate and achieve efficiencies.

It is thus key to attract, motivate, and retain competent staff through improved terms of service, actualising a staff recognition and reward policy and establishing a staff wellness programme that focuses on physical, mental, emotional health as well as personal development and training needs.

A critical institution that is already operational is the Prosecution Training Institute (PTI). It was established to assist in developing the capabilities of the staff members and other critical players in the criminal justice system. I will focus on completing its accreditation within a year.

PTI will also become a crucial cog in advancing the interest of justice within Kenya and regionally.

Innovative prosecutions

As my second agenda, is the creation of this framework that will be centered on three thematic approaches towards prosecution service delivery.

They are redefining, refining, and revolutionising the ODPP mandate, vision, functions, processes, policies, planning, activities, and duties, within the confines of the Constitution.

A key plank of this endeavour will involve embracing a strategic prosecution approach, with a focus on prioritising restorative justice over retributive justice.

This involves encouraging prosecutors to explore alternatives to trial, exercise prudence in charging decisions, conduct equitable plea-bargaining, and utilise diversion, especially in misdemeanors.

Additionally, it will encourage treatment and non-criminalisation of mental illness and drug addiction.

Another critical area is information management and technology. My plan involves establishing a multi-agency integrated information system that will enable real-time data sharing between, the investigative agencies, the ODPP, courts, correctional services, and other key partners within the criminal justice system.

Technology is essential in the efficient delivery of prosecutions. Already, the automation of the ODPP systems and processes is ongoing.

In addition, to foster innovation and encourage creativity and originality of Office of Director of Public Prosecutions processes in service delivery, I will establish an Innovation Council to conduct innovation-focused research.

Finally, within this framework, there is a need for meaningful engagement with our stakeholders through strategic communication. The Office will establish a centralised communications unit.

Prosecutions as an enabler of national development

My third pillar will focus on enhancing prosecutions as an enabler of national development through continuous multi-sectoral policy development and analysis.

Our research division will generate data to inform national and international criminal justice policy.

Part of the research division’s specialised multi-agency crime strategy teams will be to analyse crime trends in various regions within the country and advice investigators.

The idea is to bring prosecutors into the picture at the onset of case investigations in order to advice investigators on the legal parameters unique to each case.


Of equal significance is the formidable challenge corruption poses as a substantial obstacle to the nation’s pursuit of its developmental objectives.

As part of the focused efforts of strengthening capacity, will be the creation of specialised cadre of prosecutors dedicated to handling corruption-related crimes.

Additionally, the Office will champion for the formulation of relevant policies that will facilitate collaborative efforts among investigators, prosecutors, and the Judiciary to synergise efforts in the fight against corruption.

Our collective prosperity and progress as a nation cannot be built on the quicksand of crime, but only through justice, fairness, accountability and with a high fidelity to our Constitution and the rule of law.

Our development and stability as a nation depends on everyone playing their rightful constitutional role and the ODPP is ready to continue playing its part.

– Mr Renson Mulele Ingonga, OGW, is the Director of Public Prosecutions


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