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Standoff at LSK offices as Havi, Wambua teams clash

NATIONAL
By Betty Njeru | August 10th 2021

LSK President Nelson Havi with police officers outside the LSK offices at Gitanga Road. [David Gichuru, Standard]

Power politics at the helm of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) is getting messier by the day.

Armed police officers, two wrangling factions, break-ins and a bitter exchange of words have played out at the LSK offices in Gitanga Road, Nairobi in the last three weeks.

A standoff on Tuesday morning pitted a faction led by LSK President Nelson Havi against that of embattled CEO Mercy Wambua, over access to the premises.

Havi, whose main contention was police interference in the law body internal affairs, claimed that four members who were expelled from the Society had reported to work, despite orders stopping them.

In a video seen by The Standard, the LSK President said they wrote a letter to the Muthangari Police Station OCS asking him not to allow the expelled staff access the offices. But on Tuesday morning, Havi claimed that officers from another station showed up, blocking access at the main entrance and did not immediately give reasons for their presence at the facility.

“When we hold our meetings here, police officers come and cause chaos. What is their intention? I don’t know why the government always wants to send officers,” he said.

Another member of the Pro-Havi group is heard asking the police: “This is a private property. Did you have a court order to grant you access into a private property?”

But CEO Mercy Wambua, who earlier claimed that they were locked out of office, said after the push-and-pull between police and the Havi-led faction, the gates were opened and they were allowed to access the grounds.

“Last year, there were attempts to get me out of office but the council ruled against that. Nine out of thirteen members voted to reinstate me but this did not augur well with the LSK president.”

“This is a continuation of contempt of court orders and I have filed an application of contempt to be heard soon,” she said.

Nearly a month ago, Wambua accused Havi of assault during a meeting at their Gitanga road offices. She would then record a statement with police and requested for security to man the LSK offices.  

Wambua was, on July 26, sent on compulsory leave after one hundred and eighteen members voted in favour of the motion.

She was in September last year suspended from her position over alleged gross misconduct and incompetence.

She would, however, be reinstated a month later by Council members.

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