The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has never come under so much scrutiny of its internal affairs as has happened during president Nelson Havi’s tenure. This scrutiny has further heightened as the LSK gears up for its Special General Meeting slated for September 24.
In the past few months, there has been an ugly feud between the president, a majority of the council members and chief executive officer Mercy Wambua.
These divisions do not augur well for an organisation that has over the years carved a niche for itself in the struggle to entrench the rule of law and good governance.
The incessant fights have eroded the LSK’s image and stature, leading to loss of public confidence.
With the society so embroiled in its own rows, it is quite difficult for it to effectively contribute to the promotion of ethical leadership.
However, it has not been all negative. Muffled in the cacophony and turbulence at the society is a number of notable achievements. These include 20 judgments against the government for its transgressions and the litigation that led to the trashing of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
The High Court declared the bid to amend the Constitution null and void, a ruling that was endorsed by the Court of Appeal. The LSK president serves only a single two-year term, and Mr Havi’s ends in March next year.
For the remaining part of its president’s term, the LSK should put its house in order and focus on matters of national interest. The society has over the years provided guidance in the campaign to entrench the public interest.
It has effectively done so in collaboration with the civil society and other non-state organisations to help strengthen governance by flagging and challenging government excesses.
Such a vital organisation must not be turned into a forum for parochial or egoistic pursuits that deviate from the bigger picture that is the fight for justice and human rights.