, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 16 – The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) on Thursday threatened to take disciplinary action against lawyer Senators – or any other members of their professional body – who defy court orders.
LSK Chairman Eric Mutua said the decision by the Senate to initiate impeachment proceedings against Governors in contravention of court orders amounted to misconduct and demonstrated a disrespect of the law they swore to uphold – since a number of Senators are members of the LSK.
“I can tell you that the council at the moment is considering any person who is a professional lawyer and is in politics and he issues statements to say that we are not respecting a decision from court. That is misconduct and we’ll be able to send a letter to that person to show cause why they cannot be disciplined,” he said.
Mutua said such actions set a bad example and showed that it was time the Judiciary, “stamped its authority,” by jailing for six months those who contravene their orders.
“These persons who have not obeyed the decision on the Karen land issue must be borrowing from what the Senators have been saying,” he said. “Senators have said we are not obeying this decision on the Wambora case, we’re not obeying this decision on the Kivutha Kibwana issue. So when you can disobey a decision of court and nothing happens to you, the public will try to replicate what the politicians are saying.”
The LSK itself, Mutua said, was willing to initiate proceedings against those who defied court orders but the primary responsibility, he said, lay with parties to a suit.
The Embu County Assembly Speaker Kariuki Mate and Clerk Jim Kauma, for example, are facing contempt of court charges for sanctioning debate on a motion of impeachment of Embu Governor Martin Wambora in contravention of a court order.
But both the Assembly and Senate defied the orders on the grounds that the Judiciary was overstepping its mandate by trying to stop both legislative bodies from exercising their powers to impeach and the Senate to this day refuse to recognise Wambora as the Embu Governor despite his reinstatement by the High Court.
A narrative that repeated itself when the Senate chose to defy a court order temporarily restraining it from considering impeachment charges against Governor Kivutha Kibwana, passed in a motion by the Makueni County Assembly.