Kalonzo, Karua, 24 others lose senior counsel slots

Ex-vice president Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka. FILE PHOTO

Former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka and Justice minister Martha Karua have suffered a blow in their quest to join the exclusive club of high-flying advocates after the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) revoked nomination of 24 members as senior counsel.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Dorcas Oduor, family lawyer Judy Thongori, former chief executive of the defunct Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission Patricia Nyaundi and Kioko Kilikumi have also suffered the same fate.

Others are veteran lawyer Fred Ngatia, Albert Mumma, Pravin Bowry, renowned arbitrator John Ohaga and former Director of Public Prosecutions Philip Murgor.

LSK president Nelson Havi said on Wednesday in a letter addressed to members that the names were withdrawn after the majority of members expressed dissatisfaction in the manner in which the selection committee was composed.

Mr Havi also said the process was stopped as LSK members complained that the Committee of Senior Counsel, which was undertaking the recruitment exercise was not impartial.

“The counsel deliberated on this matter in a meeting held on May 11, 2020. It was resolved that the decision of the committee made on August 26, 2019, be set aside. The recommendation for the conferment of the 24 advocates was therefore revoked,” he said.

Mr Havi said two lawsuits had been filed in court to challenge the nominations on various grounds.

Nairobi lawyer Donald Kipkorir is among the individuals who last September demanded the panel responsible for selecting lawyers to Senior Counsel club not to forward its list to President Uhuru Kenyatta before he appeals his exclusion.

The lawyer wrote to the committee, faulting it for overlooking gender and regional balance, and allegedly favouring criminal lawyers over commercial litigators in the final shortlist.

Mr Kipkorir also questioned the committee’s decision to go against the tradition of conferring sitting Attorney-Generals, DPPs and LSK presidents with the title.

“All these issues impact negatively on the process of recommendation for conferment made in 2019 and intended to be made in 2020,’ said the LSK president.