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Lawyers back draft law

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 12 – The Law Society of Kenya now says it will embark on a nationwide civic education campaign on the proposed Constitution to run concurrently with campaigns by the Committee of Experts.

The lawyers’ association which says it will fund its own campaigns with the help of donors also says it will roll out the programme once the Attorney General publishes the proposed document.

LSK Chairman Kenneth Akide explained on Monday that the association would use its 8,000 members to conduct mass civic education.

He added that the association would scrutinise the draft to make sure no substantial alterations had been made by the AG after it was handed over to him from Parliament.

“We are lawyers and this a constitutional document and it squarely rests upon us as the legal profession to spearhead civic education.

We have appointed a committee of 12 eminent lawyers who will work with the LSK Council to undertake civic education,” he said.

Further the LSK boss explained that the organisation would use its regional offices to facilitate the countrywide civic education campaigns.

“We have five branches countrywide; there’s the Mombasa branch, Rift Valley branch, North Rift, Mt Kenya region branch, Western Kenya branch plus the one in Nairobi. Some members have been calling and they are waiting to be instructed to start,” he said. 

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The LSK would also provide the IIEC and other civil societies with manpower and such resources to assist in the campaigns.

“We are aware the Interim Independent Electoral Commission and the Committee of Experts are already working on materials for civic education.

We will work in partnership with such like-minded groups and we will support and partner with them in everything they will be doing,” he said.

Mr Akide said Kenyans were free to decide which positions they took on the constitution and that the LSK would not ask for the dismissal of Cabinet members who were against it.

“In a bargain you don’t get everything that you bargain for; it is a give and take process. What we have here is perhaps over 90 percent perfect for Kenyans so certainly it is better than the current constitution and being pragmatic we want to say it is time to move on,” he said.

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