Kenya said on Tuesday it has hired a foreign attorney to prosecute high-profile state corruption cases in an apparent bid by the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta to make its effort to fight graft more credible.
The government has appointed Khawar Qureshi, a British attorney and legal scholar, said a statement from the public prosecutor’s office.
“The stakes in such cases are very high and therefore, it is necessary that the proceedings are insulated from public perceptions of political interferences,” the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said in a statement.
Many Kenyans say government corruption is a pressing national problem that drains state coffers and distorts business and political life.
The top prosecutor has brought criminal charges against dozens of senior civil servants and business people this year.
On Thursday, a hearing will decide whether criminal proceedings against deputy chief justice Philomena Mwilu should continue or be thrown out. Mwilu was arrested in August on suspicion of corruption, failure to pay tax and improper dealings with a local bank now in receivership.
The high court temporarily halted criminal proceedings against her and accepted an application the senior justice filed that argued the case raised constitutional issues.
(Reporting by Hereward Holland; Editing by Elias Biryabarema and Matthew Mpoke Bigg)