Extra-Judicial Killings Drop By 26 Per Cent In One Year
Unsolved murders and cases of extrajudicial killings have decreased by 26 per cent in the Coast region since the inception of the Collective Resilience Against Extremism (CREATE) two years ago.
Addressing journalists from Watamu, Kilifi county at the weekend, Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji termed it an impressive achievement and hoped there will be further reduction in coming years leading to a drop in both violent extremism and terrorism.
“If within roughly a year we have been able to achieve this, we are hopeful that in coming years, we will see a huge reduction both in extremism and hopefully in terrorism itself,” he said.
Haji, who was attending a workshop organised to evaluate the gains made by CREATE, said the project that is being implemented by Haki Africa had brought about more cooperation between communities, law enforcement agencies, the prosecution and the Judiciary.
He said the project was working towards realising a more conducive working atmosphere for law enforcement agencies and for local communities to thrive in.
“We have also seen more cooperation as the communities work with law enforcement agencies, the prosecution and the Judiciary, and this has signalled that with goodwill, the government and other actors can achieve solutions to countering violent extremism in the region,” he said.
“Because of the goodwill and the trust that we have created, the region has seen criminals, including suspected extremists, surrendering and even bringing themselves to either face justice or be rehabilitated,” he added.
The DPP, at the same time, assured witnesses of their safety and urged those that may feel threatened to take their concerns to the Witness Protection Agency for immediate redress.
He said his office and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations were still investigating the recent murder of Ms Jennifer Wambua, who is believed to have been a witness in a corruption case.
“The lady that was recently murdered was not under witness protection because it had not come to our attention that there had been any threats on her life, but we are investigating the matter,” he said.
Haji also cautioned politicians against engaging in hate speech as the country gears towards a possible referendum and the General Elections in 2022, saying those found culpable would be firmly dealt with to avoid bloodshed.
Mombasa Presiding Judge Justice Eric Ogolla praised the collaboration and said the Judiciary had joined forces with Haki Africa and the Office of the DPP to ensure that the factors leading to matters of violent extremism are addressed so they do not have to reach the courts.
“This process enables us to engage with the communities in which these issues arise so that we are able to honestly engage in the factors that lead to these issues. We know that these factors are within the society and when we discuss them with the relevant stakeholders, they become easy to handle when they reach judicial officers,” Justice Ogolla said.
Haki Africa Coast Regional director Hussein Khalid said the project has helped with caseload management by reducing the number of cases taken to court.
“We have also been able to encourage criminal and violent extremism suspects to surrender and be processed by the system. So far, we have had around 17 individuals who have turned themselves into the security authorities to have their issues addressed,” he said.
The workshop was attended by representatives from various State and non-state agencies, who shared their experiences since the project started.