The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) voting for new officials kicked off countrywide on Thursday morning, with the exercise slated to end by 5 pm. Voting was going on in various centres around the country, including Eldoret, Kisumu, and Nairobi. The position of LSK president has brought together two contestants, James Mwamu from Kisumu and Allen Gichuhi Waiyaki. The two also contested in a previous contest, and they were trumped by current LSK president Isaac Okero.
There were concerns by other lawyers, younger practising lawyers who faulted the rule that for anyone to stand for LSK presidency, he or she must have been practising for 15 years, with the same applying for vice presidency position. Prominent lawyer Nelson Havi, who had targeted the presidency seat, was restricted by the rule and couldn’t vie but he cast vote. He said globally there is no UN nation that has the law set by parliament that bars younger people from contesting, “We have no law like that for other professional groups like lecturers, why does it have to be only for lawyers?” he posed.
Speaking at Milimani Law Courts, where the voting was going on for Nairobi chapter, one of the presidency contestants Allen Gichuhi expressed his confidence that he’ll emerge victorious and said the 15-year rule will be changed if he is elected. He also said if elected he will ensure tribalism isn’t a mainstay in the Law Society of Kenya, “The unity of LSK has to be professional, not based on tribalism,” he said.