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HomeWorld NewsCourt halts bid to charge Bitange Ndemo over Malili Ranch

Court halts bid to charge Bitange Ndemo over Malili Ranch


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Court halts bid to charge Bitange Ndemo over Malili Ranch

Bitange Ndemo

Prof Bitange Ndemo during a past function in Nairobi. PHOTO | NMG

The Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling blocking the prosecution of former Principal Secretary Bitange Ndemo over the purchase of Malili Ranch by the government for Sh1 billion more than a decade ago.

The charges against Prof Ndemo were quashed in 2016 by the High Court after ruling that they were brought against the former PS with an ulterior motive, other than advancing the cause of justice.

Prof Ndemo was a member of the ministerial tender committee that recommended the purchase of the land.

The appellate court upheld the decision questioning why the Director of Public Prosecutions was so much in a hurry to charge Prof Ndemo even before investigations were complete.

“From the circumstances of this case, it is evident that the intended prosecution of the respondent was not only discriminatory and selective and certainly did not have regard to the public interest, the interests of the administration of justice and the need to prevent and avoid abuse of the legal process,” Justices Hannah Okwengu, Fatuma Sichale and Jamila Mohammed said.

The judges noted that the recommendation to have the former PS charged was hastily made even after similar charges had been rejected by the DPP.

“From the wording of the passages in the two letters, which we have reproduced above, it is apparent that the appellant (DPP) was hell-bent on securing a conviction against the respondent amongst other persons at all costs,” the judges added.

The judges added the fact that Prof Ndemo was not even given the new evidence that was used to charge him afresh was apparent that the intended prosecution was meant to achieve other ulterior motives rather than to advance the cause of justice.

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