The outgoing Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Noordin Haji, on Tuesday, May 30, lifted a lid over undercover operations that the National Intelligence Service (NIS) undertook before mass deaths were reported at Shakahola Forest.
While appearing before Members of Parliament during his vetting for the position of Director-General of the NIS, Haji explained that agents performed their work perfectly but their efforts bore no fruits within the judiciary.
The former spymaster stated that agents at the NIS gathered accurate information on the cult leader Paul Mackenzie but the courts were the weakest links in the chain.
"NIS did give definite intelligence that was initially actioned upon, even as ODPP, we were able to prosecute some of these individuals, especially Paul Mackenzie.
"It is not correct to say that NIS did not play its role adequately. Those of us in the justice system will have to review how we action intelligence," Haji explained.
He told MPs that, for various reasons, the courts allowed Mackenzie to continue with his activities despite NIS warning that the cult leader was a danger not only to himself but to the general society.
As such, Haji noted that he would initiate a raft of measures that would ensure that NIS intelligence was beneficial not merely as a preventive tool but also as a cure for violent extremism.
According to Haji, the entire justice system should work together to remodel mechanics that would adequately deal with current challenges in the security sector.
"On the Shakahola, there would have to be a paradigm shift for us, since for a long time extremism was viewed from a certain prism.
"Terrorism has traditionally been viewed, especially in Africa, as a problem that was brought about by Islamic extremism. However, with Shakahola in mind, we will have to cast our net wider in order to catch terrorists in Christian and Hindu extremists," Haji stated.
Haji explained that Article 242 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, mandates NIS to collect Security Intelligence and Counter Intelligence, besides performing other functions within the law.
"We will have to assist the justice system to convert intelligence into evidence. Because the intelligence that was available could not be used in court. However, it had to be converted so that it would be actioned as intelligence.
The outgoing DPP further revealed that NIS has five departments including the Directorate of Internal Security, Directorate of External Security, Directorate of Counter Intelligence, Directorate of Analysis and Directorate of Administration.
"NIS is responsible for protecting Kenya from a wide range of threats, and it provides intelligence to the government that helps to keep the country safe," Haji noted.
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