Former AG's daughter bags award as Kenya's top Arbitrator

Former Attorney General Prof. Githu Muigai’s daughter, Wambui Muigai. [Kamau Muthoni, Satandard]

Former Attorney General Prof. Githu Muigai’s daughter was among the winners feted by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) for an exemplary job this year in its gala held on Friday.

CIArb, in its third excellence award, announced Wambui Muigai as an arbitrator of the year alongside her father for their contribution to the promotion of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and for her outstanding expertise in the justice sector.

Wambui currently works at Mohammed Muigai Advocates.

The former AG's daughter has made a name in the corridors of justice for, among other things, commercial and criminal law.

 She was among those who appeared for Uganda-based miller Sarrai Group in the Mumias Sugar Limited lease battle before the Commercial Court and the Court of Appeal.

 At the same time, Wambui is also a lawyer for Langata Women beauty queen Ruth Kamande in a landmark battle before the Supreme Court on domestic violence.

 In Kamande’s case, she again appeared alongside the former AG.

Kamande, a prison beauty queen, has been on death row for seven years now after being found guilty and convicted of murder.

When it emerged that she had stabbed her boyfriend Farid Mohammed 25 times, some who were keen on the chilling story expressed anger, while others expressed disbelief that she was acting in self-defense.

 However, there were others who believed that her story of domestic abuse was not considered.

 Wambui and Muigai argue that battered women syndrome is still fresh in the country.

 Court of Appeal judges Asike Makhandia, Agnes Murgor, and Sankale Ole Kantai unanimously agreed with the duo.

Judges observed that Kenya does not have a solid direction for dealing with such cases.

The Muigais argued that self-control, as theorized and endorsed in law, ideally proceeds from the old traditional stereotypical understanding of human psychology that anger is instantaneous from a significant event that precipitates the loss of self-control for the person. As such, the offence of murder is distinctly derived from past abuse.

The two lawyers submitted that there had been an increase in cases of domestic violence.

They were of the view that the appeal to the Supreme Court will address the rights of victims of domestic violence, the proper and applicable legal principles in a self-defense plea, and the appropriate test for provocation raised in a battered women syndrome defense.

 The Director of Public Prosecution agreed that Kamande’s case should be escalated to Kenya’s highest court for a determination as to whether the lower courts ought to have automatically lowered the finding to manslaughter when she raised self-defense.

 “We have looked at the issues raised by the applicant and note that the issue surrounding battered women syndrome is raw in the country and has not had many decisions on the same. We feel the same should be given a window for interrogation by the Supreme Court,” the Court of Appeal ruled.

Kamande was crowned the winner of the Lang'ata Women Prison Beauty Pageant in 2016.

Others who were awarded were Samuel Nderitu, Dr. Wilfred Mutubwa, Dr. Francis Kariuki, Mercy Okiro, Akoth Aluoch, and James Ngotho.

At the same time, Justice Joyce Aluoch, Linda Mwihaki, Calvin Nyachoti, and Samuel Nderitu were awarded as the best mediators in 2023.

"The awards seek to identify and award persons (both natural and legal) who have made outstanding contributions toward the realization of the aspirations of Article 159(2)(c) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010,” said CIArb.

The CIARB Kenya Branch was established in 1984. It is one of the branches of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, which was founded in 1915 in London.

 The Institute has over 14,000 members spread out in about 133 countries worldwide, with branches in England, Wales, Scotland, Hong Kong, Europe, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Mauritius, Australia, India, and North America, among other countries.