In a previous post here, I mentioned the availability in
CSI Nairobi says they have spent most of the last two months shuttling from one government office to another trying to convince the powers that be to accept results of DNA profiling that they have conducted. This is watertight evidence that will help nab and convict without a doubt the perpetrators of various crimes. They are currently holding many such results pertaining to the murderous post election violence that included gang rape and other forms of physical brutality. But as the Kenyan law now stands, it cannot be adduced in court because CSI Nairobi is not a designated government analyst. Their high tech evidence can actually be dismissed as hearsay... or as our lawyers like to dismiss it, mama mboga evidence! By Kenyan law, the only forensic experts recognized in court are to be found at the Government Chemist’s department. And even then, they have to be gazetted officers. To be gazetted, one would first have to be in the employ of the Government Chemist, undergo several years’ training and then gather several years in experience as a senior analyst.
Of course this now means that to indulge the ingenious good people of CSI Nairobi, the laws may have to be changed. But by whom and when? Our serious looking Director of Public Prosecutions who should be bothered by the increasing number of pending cases in these matters is apparently engaged in more serious matters of the state. Like chasing one Okoiti Omtata around town with countless charges of, among other things, attempting to commit suicide at Police Headquarters. The best he could do for CSI Kenya was to ask them to take their results “to the CID and Government Chemist for verification and accreditation”. The very same agencies that have no capacity to conduct these analyses! The CID would be verifying DNA profiles against what? Finger print records? And by what statute would the Government Chemist be accrediting anyone when he/she has no such powers anyway? Was the DPP just flexing muscles by tossing around hawa vijana tu or could it be that he does not really appreciate just how much law he’s purporting to serve is senselessly convoluted?
Bwana DPP also reminded the CSI that the Attorney-General had set up a task force to look into the ‘operationalisation’ of the Sexual Offences Act (of 2003). Yes, 2003! And still waiting. Gender activists might want to note that the said task force is/was chaired by Lady Justice Joyce Aluoch. And that the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs under whose docket the law reforms program falls is one Martha Karua.
It is hard to tell what it is that the authorities are doing sitting on such a law even though the comforts of high office may obviously be preventing them from empathizing with the trauma and suffering of many civilians. Assuming that the said Act will in fact give way to the likes of CSI Nairobi being incorporated in the fight against these crimes, one is at a loss to figure out just what it takes to ‘operationalise’ this law. And given the daily revelations of the shady goings-on in the corridors of power, one would be tempted to think that schemes are being put in place to ‘eat’ from the operationalisation process. I wouldn’t put it past these folks, never mind their professed learned brotherhood.
I suspect that the simple truth is that government functionaries are in a state of utter confusion and apathy with no one in particular tasked to work on any specific tool or event related to the law(s). The top brass in the bloated executive are engaged in foolish grand posturing while their charges pass the buck and continue to serve faithfully at the pleasure of the President.
Meanwhile, thousands are crying out for justice and the CSI resources that may just alleviate their suffering could end up lying idle. Isn’t the law an ass?