The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) elections Council has cleared candidates for the 2020 elections; the position of Law Society of Kenya President has attracted four Nairobi- based City Lawyers as candidates in the upcoming elections slated for 27th February 2020: LSK Vice President Chiggai Harriette, LSK Nairobi branch chairperson Charles Kanjama, LSK council member Maria Mbeneka and Advocate Nelson Havi.
The winner is set to succeed the current LSK President, Mr. Allen Gichuhi, who has been in office since the year 2018. Mr Gichuhi who also previously served as a Council member, took over from Mr Isaac Okero. Other Candidates vying for the Vice President’s seat are Carolyne Kamende and Eric Nyongesa. All candidates have been called upon to observe the provisions of the LSK Act in relation to elections regulations and code of conduct.
Lawyers will also have the opportunity to elect three Nairobi representatives, a Coast representative, four Upcountry representatives, two General members’ representatives and two Disciplinary Committee members. The campaigns which have so far been peaceful with no reported cases of violent incidences will conclude 24 hours to the election date. The elections will be conducted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Amongst the highlights of Chiggai Harriette’s manifesto, she has a vision for an all-inclusive Society regardless of its membership’s differences in age, gender, creed or political affiliations. The Law Society of Kenya which brags of a diverse membership with lawyers who practice privately in law firms, those in the public and Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) sectors as well as those in academia. Unfortunately, she observes that members have over time metamorphosised into various facets and divided themselves depending on the nature of their practice, leading to a stratified membership. Under the Brand #Onward, she invites members of the LSK to walk with her in this journey of becoming President; she already has in place an adopted plan to include lawyers in the public and NGO sectors as well as in-house Counsel into the Society’s activities and agenda. She strongly advocates that the time is nigh for lawyers, regardless on their practice sectors, to come together under a solidified umbrella of the LSK, whose potential has been limited by a regrettable rift between members of a profession that enjoys nobility. Harriet is the youngest of the candidates and has previously served as LSK Council member and one of the founding officials of the East African Law Society.
Maria Mbeneka’s reason for throwing her hat into the ring is because she believes with all my heart that the Society must take a different trajectory and rise. She understands that all members of the LSK have done well so far but it is time to rise to greatness. She wants to lead the team that raises the profile of the LSK and makes great strides in adding value to their members. Her 10-point manifesto is based on the premise of inclusivity, integrity and innovation. She strongly believes it addresses most, if not all of our current concerns as a society: one Society; promotion of the Rule of Law; facilitate the easy collection of certificates; empowerment and support of the Branches; introduction of the self-care policy; provide Legal Aid programmes; introduce the LSK mobile app; establish an E-Library; introduce a strategic partnership for mentorship; and capitalise fully on the predominant and emerging areas of law. Maria also serves as a Council member to the Commonwealth Lawyers Association and is the First Lady of Laikipia County Government, Kenya.
Charles Kanjama who boasts as a Champion in various capacities; he prides himself as a Rule of Law Champion; Practice Matters Champion; Devolution Champion. His mantra is #TransformTogether and build a #StrongLSK. His values in LSK engagement are VISION, PASSION, DEDICATION, COMMITMENT, RELIABILITY. He believes his character is: Integrity, Independence, Initiative, Intensity and Inclusivity. And his competence is Professionalism, Leadership, Vision, Persistence & Courage. He mentions that his detailed agenda and track record are available for review by members in various media forums; and his attitude is simple: servant leadership for transformation agenda. He seeks the vote and support of all members to deliver on this mandate.
Nelson Havi, a Nairobi- based Lawyer has set Monitoring legislation, protection of the law practice environment and defense of the rule of law and constitution as his three- based agenda. Under the slogan #BraveNewBar, Mr Havi makes his second attempt to the position after his first attempt in the year 2018 faced an age- qualification hitch which was confirmed by the High Court of Kenya. Mr Havi had also unsuccessfully contested for the Nairobi Law Society Chairmanship where he lost to Charles Kanjama.
We at the People’s Accolade Law Magazine wish our Kenyan readers a successful election. While urging them to vote wisely, we cannot hesitate to advocate for a peaceful and professional exercise of their democracy.
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