Council of Legal Education staff go on strike over 'leadership misconduct'

Council of Legal Education

Council of Legal Education (CLE) staff at go on strike.

Photo credit: Mercy Simiyu | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Allegations of leaked CLE examination materials have cast a shadow of doubt over the integrity of the organisation's examination process.
  • Board chairperson Prof Githu Muigai said appropriate action would be taken if these allegations are substantiated.

Staff at the Council of Legal Education (CLE) on Wednesday went on strike over alleged misconduct by the top leadership.

The staff also demanded the dissolution of the board and the sacking of a senior official whom they accused of misappropriating funds. There are also questions about qualifications to hold office.

They further accused the official of leaking CLE examination materials where some candidates are said to have copied the marking scheme verbatim.

According to an advertisement for the CEO position on September 25 and signed by board chairperson Githu Muigai, the candidate should have a bachelor's degree in law from a recognised university and a master's degree in any field with at least 10 years' experience.

Professional qualification

"The Council of Legal Education (hereinafter referred to as the Council) has been in the process of recruiting for the position of Secretary/Chief Executive Officer. However, after considering the applications received for the said position, the Board of the Council has found that the applications were not responsive and has therefore decided to review and amend Section Part 1 (d) of the Career Guidelines, August 2020 as follows:

"Bachelor's Degree in Law from a recognised institution. Master’s Degree in a relevant field from a recognised institution. At least ten (10) years of professional experience, of which five (5) years in a senior management position.

“Professional qualification and membership of a professional body where applicable. v. Comply with the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution of Kenya," the notice reads.

Ideal candidate

However, as indicated in a job description dated July 25, 2023, an ideal candidate is also required to possess the following qualifications: A Bachelor's Degree in Law from a recognised institution, a Master's Degree in Law from a recognised university, a Doctorate in Law from a recognised university (considered an added advantage), a cumulative period of fifteen (15) years of satisfactory relevant professional experience, qualification as an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and successful completion of a recognised leadership course.

"Surely in the entire legal profession, they want to tell us that none of us has met these requirements to the point of lowering the requirements to even below that of the Dean of a Law School. She has a Master's degree, we do not dispute that but when did this requirement change to fit only one person, she has been acting for more than 6 months now and she wants to force herself into this position," a staff member posed.

The staff too allege misappropriation of funds. 

Allegations of leaked CLE examination materials have cast a shadow of doubt over the integrity of the organisation's examination process, causing concern among both students and stakeholders who question the fairness of the assessments. 

In response to the allegations and concerns raised by staff, the Board chairman, Prof Muigai said, "If these allegations are substantiated, we will deal with them accordingly".