Three eye top law society position


The race to succeed Law Society of Kenya President Eric Mutua has intensified with at least three people handing in nomination papers by last evening’s deadline.

The February 2016 elections come against a backdrop of deep divisions within society. Two annual general meetings have ended in disarray.

The new team will assume office in a politically charged year, when the 2017 general election campaigns hit fever pitch.

Other than the president, the lawyers will also pick a vice-president, 10 council members and a female representative to the Judicial Service Commission.

The law society representative to the Judicial Service Commission will play a crucial role in interviewing the person to take over from Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, who will retire next year.

Among those who handed in their nomination papers are former president of East Africa Law Society Aggrey Mwamu, seen as a frontrunner.

Mr Mwamu served as the Kenya law society vice-chairman when Mr Okongo Omogeni was chairman. He was also chairman of the West Kenya Law Society.

Another council member Allen Gichuhi has also shown interest.

He has practised in two leading litigation firms in Nairobi — Hamilton Harrison & Mathews and Walker Kontos — where he was partner in charge of litigation.

Law society Chief Executive Appollo Mboya, who was to announce the final list of those who meet the qualification on Friday, was unavailable for comment as he had travelled abroad.

The society rubbed the government the wrong way during the Kanu rule but has gained considerable independence since.

Some past society leaders have used the position as a springboard to elective politics.

They include Mr Paul Muite and Mr Gitobu Imanyara who were elected Members of Parliament.