Nairobi: Controversy surrounds the appointment of the new Law Society of Kenya Secretary/CEO.
Ms Mercy Wambua who has been the deputy CEO at the society emerged top to take over from Apollo Mboya whose term ends next month.
But her appointment has elicited controversy among council members who claim there is a plan to curtail it.
According to council member Dennis Mosota, there is a plan to alter the outcome of their Monday meeting in which they chose Ms Wambua as the CEO.
Six other candidates who had applied for the position include Ronald Oyagi, Ms Wambua, Beatrice Chelangat, Jemimah Wanza Keli, Grace Nekoye Katasi, Justus Wabuyabo, and Damary Ayuka.
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Mosota has written to the LSK President Erick Mutua complaining of the alleged plot to stop Ms Wambua from taking over.
“Mr. President it is also within my knowledge that the Vice President has told a section of the secretariat staff that the decision to appoint Ms. Wambua is not final and will be reviewed with the possibility of the position given to either number 2 or 3 and that further there was an option of annulling the entire recruitment and get an independent body to carry out the recruitment,” said Mosota in a letter to Mutua.
According to the letter by Mosota who is a member of the council, Ms Wambua scored 801.5, Ms Keli 738, Chelangat 576, Oyagi 573, Katasi 559, Wabuyabo 538 and Ayuka 444.5 points.
The developments followed the interview on January 25, which tested on various parameters comprising academic qualifications, knowledge of LSK and its structures, work experience, leadership and integrity, litigation and constitutional procedures, general knowledge, appearance, record keeping and financial management and human resource management.
“Based on the outcome, the panel unanimously adjudged Ms Mercy Wambua as the best candidate and therefore the most suitable from among the candidates for the position of CEO. The council therefore recommended that once the minutes have been prepared the decision on the outcome be conveyed to the candidates.”
“Unless we handle this issue in a transparent and procedural manner, it is likely to degenerate into a controversy of the proportions that may potentially underscore and nourish the current divisions in the society and break the council right down the middle,” said Mosota.
He said among those who attended the council meeting were Mutua, Godfrey Kitiwa, Aggrey Mwamu, Jenipher Shamalla, Getrude Angote, Carole Khasoa, Eric Theuri, Allen Gichuhi, Grace Okumu, Mosota while Allan Kosgey sent apologies.
Mr Mutua did not respond to our calls while Mr Mboya said he was away on official matters and was not aware of the meeting.
The day-to-day operations and administration of the society are undertaken by the Secretariat, which is comprised of the Secretary (CEO), Programme Directors, Accountants and Support Staff.
The Secretariat serves as a meeting and mobilisation point for lawyers and through it, social welfare activities are coordinated.
The appointment sets stage for polls to elect new LSK leaders will be conducted on February 25. More than 70 lawyers are in the race for the LSK positions that will fall vacant.
Those so far interested in the president’s position include Isaac Okero, Aggrey Mwamu and Allen Gichuhi.
The lawyers are scheduled to elect a President, Vice President, Council and a female representative in the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
Other positions include representatives in the Disciplinary Tribunal, Chairperson and Council of the newly established Nairobi branch.