RENSON MULELE: Here is my vision if approved as next DPP

I want to express my gratitude to President William Ruto for the confidence he has shown in me through my nomination for the role Director of Public Prosecutions. This is a key position that holds significant importance in the facilitation of justice, a fundamental principle of our Constitution.

I would like to acknowledge immediate former DPP Noordin Haji whose visionary leadership brought about key reforms that have significantly enhanced the efficiency and effectiveness of the ODPP. His guidance and mentorship has been instrumental in nurturing leaders and individuals within the ODPP.

The Constitution acknowledges the role of faith in our society and recognises supremacy of the Almighty God and should l be confirmed by the Justice and Legal Affairs committee, l intend to continue living out and promoting fairness, integrity, hard work, accountability perseverance, sacrifice, leadership and fear of God, the values instilled in me by my parents.

For the past 18 years since my admission as an advocate of the High Court, I have dedicated my life to upholding the principles of justice in all its forms, starting out briefly in private practice before transitioning to a career in public service where I would eventually serve in various senior positions in the Ministry of Lands and the Office of the Attorney General.

Over the past nine years, I have been privileged to serve in the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions. I joined as a senior principal prosecution counsel and l have served in five different counties. Additionally, l have had the privilege of representing the ODPP in different regional and global forums.

In my current position, I’m responsible for a blend of administrative and operational functions. These include overseeing and supervising staff, prosecuting criminal cases in court, offering counsel to the DPP and collaborating with various stakeholders within the criminal justice system.

My criminal litigation experience, knowledge of the ODPP and partnerships with stakeholders have empowered me with strategic and tactical management insights. These experiences have also given me a holistic perspective of the context within which the ODPP operates and what is required to support it in achieving its mandate.

If confirmed, l commit to pursue a threefold agenda which includes building a people-centered prosecution service, creating an innovative prosecution performance framework and positioning prosecutions as an enabler of national development.

As a people-centered prosecution service, my 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.

For the internal staff, I will be keen on establishing a staff wellness programme that will focus on their physical, mental and emotional health as well as personal development and training needs. I intend to actualise a staff recognition and reward policy for motivation and retention. As key to attracting and retaining staff, I intend to collaborate with the relevant institutions to improve their terms of service.

A critical institution that is already operational is the Prosecution Training Institute, which 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.

On a regional and global level, my intention is to inaugurate the establishment of a Best Practices Prosecutorial Network. This network will facilitate the exchange of experiences and information among prosecutors across borders.

My second agenda will be creation of an Innovative Prosecution Performance Framework, 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 entails encouraging prosecutors to explore alternatives to trial, exercise prudence in charging decisions, conduct equitable plea-bargaining and utilise diversion especially in misdemeanours. Additionally, it will encourage treatment and non-criminalisation of mental illness and drug addiction.

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

Technology is essential in the efficient delivery of prosecutions. l intend to give utmost importance to completing the automation of the ODPP systems and processes. This will also be in support of government’s policy for all institutions to go paperless.

To foster innovation and encourage creativity and originality of ODPP processes in service delivery, I will establish an Innovation Council to conduct innovation-focused research for the continuous improvement of ODPP internal functions and service delivery.

Finally, within this framework, there is a need for meaningful engagement with our stakeholders through strategic communication. To address this, l will establish a centralised communication unit, adequately resourced to leverage on both traditional and new media platforms.

My third pillar will focus on enhancing prosecutions as an enabler of national development through continuous multisectoral 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 and assist them in making more informed decisions.

Of equal significance is the formidable challenge corruption poses as a substantial obstacle to Kenya’s pursuit of its developmental objectives. I’m committed to strengthening our capacity to fight it by creating a specialised cadre of prosecutors dedicated to handling corruption-related crimes.

Additionally, I 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.

In closing, l believe l have the experience, knowledge, relevant associations and vision needed to serve as the next Director of Public Prosecutions. 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 progress and stability as a nation depends on everyone playing their rightful constitutional role and the ODPP is ready to continue playing its part under my leadership should l be confirmed.

Renson Mulele Ingonga, presidential nominee, Director of Public Prosecutions


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