, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 17 – Nairobi lawyer Eric Mutua is the new chairman of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) after trouncing his opponents by a wide margin in polls held on Thursday.
Mutua garnered 1,975 votes against John Mburu’s 603 in the society’s first ever elections to be conducted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. Lillian Omondi becomes new vice-chairperson.
Speaking after the announcement of the results, outgoing LSK chairman Kenneth Akide lauded the elections which he said were conducted with decorum.
“This is LSK’s finest moment. The way this election has been conducted and the way the candidates in this election have conducted themselves is really commendable. For the first time, we are going to have a chairman-elect,” he said.
Akide stated that the manner in which the polls were conducted set a precedent and commended the advocates for the dignity they upheld during the process.
“It is really historical that the lawyers in this country have come out today to vote in an election for choosing the next leadership that is the chairman, the vice chairman and members of the council. The IEBC has been given the job of doing it and as has been observed, it is very orderly,” Akide stated.
He said that the chairman-elect will take up office during LSK’s annual general meeting slated for next month.
“In less than a month’s time, on 10th of March, we shall have our annual general meeting in which we shall install the new people who are being elected today,” he said.
He described the system used as orderly as it allowed for a smooth transition between the incumbent and incumbent.
“That is how an orderly process of election ought to take place and not as we are used to in this country where one person abandons office on the day another one is elected. There is no mechanism and systems of handing over,” he said. “So from today when we get to know the winner, we shall have a transition until March 10.”
The incoming chairman on the other hand stated that the polls set an example for other elections throughout the country.
“We still believe that this profession is a noble one. We did not act like the ordinary politicians. We conducted ourselves with decorum and I believe that it is the way to go in terms of moving this country forward. I would pray that if at all our politicians would learn from the process, we would move very far as a country,” Mutua stated.
Speaking to Capital News, many advocates said that they were happy with the involvement of the IEBC, saying it ensured transparency.
Previously, lawyers used the post office to send their ballot papers to Nairobi for counting and announcement.
“We are doing what every democratic institution should do from time to time that is elect their leaders and it is a great thing that we have at least some semblance of order,” stated one lawyer who requested anonymity.
“That is a good thing. At least we will have confidence with the results because these are independent so that we do not have similar problems that we had last year,” he said.
This was the first time the LSK polls were conducted by an autonomous body.
“At the end of the day we expect that the process will be fair and free and we will have a new chairman. The best person will win and once he does that, he must deliver.”
The elections were held in 17 polling stations at the High Courts countrywide.
It cost LSK Sh2.4 million, which is lower than the initial Sh3 million previously spent on mailing.