The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) has condemned accusations linking the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) to nepotism.
Citing a suit filed against the ODPP that is headed by Noordin Haji, the council, in a statement on Thursday, alleged malice in the case.
The suit in reference was filed at the Milimani Law Courts by one Memba Charo, through lawyer Danstan Omari.
Charo is seeking orders to stop the ODPP from proceeding to interview candidates shortlisted for various positions in the investigative agency.
In court papers, the petitioner accuses the ODPP of nepotism, claiming that the directorate has given preference to applicants from the Muslim community and, more specifically, from the Somali ethnic community, which happens to be the religion and ethnic community of Haji.
“We in the Supreme Council wish to take great exception to this suit because of the mischief and bigotry underlying it,” said Al-haji Hassan Ole Naado, the National Chairman of the Muslims Council.
According to the council, Charo’s claims are unfounded as out of the 148 applicants shortlisted for interviews only 45 have names that, on face value, appear to be Muslim from different counties in the Republic of Kenya. The ODPP is said to have received more than 500 applications for the advertised positions.
“The 45 shortlisted candidates bearing Muslim names are drawn from across the length and breadth of the Republic of Kenya where Muslims are resident or domiciled and that not all the 45 are Somali,” he added.
“We find it shocking and unacceptable for Mr Charo to claim nepotism yet applicants presumed to be Muslim are only 45 out of 148! Therefore, we find the claims of nepotism in Mr Charo’s suit amounting to nothing else but a clear intention to profile Muslims for discrimination, marginalization and exclusion.
“Article 10 of the Constitution spells out the national values and principles of governance, which values and principles include non-discrimination and inclusiveness. So, when only 45 Muslims appear in a list of 148 shortlisted candidates, Mr Charo cries foul! This attitude is unacceptable, cannot be allowed to obtain and Muslims condemn this kind of profiling in the strongest terms possible.”
The council further alleges that Charo is just a gun for hire, being used by lawyer Omari to settle scores with Haji.
“Above all, not all Muslims are Somali and being shortlisted for interview does not mean being granted employment! So, why Mr Charo is launching a pre-emptive attack against Muslims is something that should be called out! Secondly, we wish to remind Mr Charo and his able lawyer that there is a difference between the Office of Director of Prosecutions as established under Article 157(1) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the person of the Director of Public Prosecutions holding office and discharging functions as per Article 157(2)-(11).
“To this end, we wish to remind Kenyans that it is in the public domain that Mr Charo’s legal counsel in this matter, Mr Danstan Omari, has an axe to grind with the DPP Mr Noordin Hajji and that Charo is just a gun for hire in this suit.”
SUPKEM dismissed the suit as abuse of the courts, insisting that the Muslim community won’t allow anyone to drag its name into mischief.
“The council noted that if Omari has scores to settle with Noordin Hajj, it is unacceptable for him to drag the entire Muslim community in their dispute through frivolous, vexatious and malicious suits such as the one under comment. This is an abuse of the courts and the Muslim community shall NOT allow Mr Omari or any other person to drag its name into mischief,” he added.
The statement comes a day after the ODPP rubbished religious bias and nepotism claims against the agency.
Lilian Obuo, the Chief of Staff ODPP, said on Wednesday the directorate doesn’t consider religion as a requirement during its recruitment and selection processes.
She revealed that the positions of Senior Principal Finance Officer, Principal Administrative Officer, Principal Accountant and Senior Supply Chain Management Officer attracted a large number of applicants who only met the minimum requirements.
As a result, Obuo said, special consideration was given to persons who are currently least represented at the ODPP, applicants from marginalized areas and Persons with Disabilities.