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Morara Omoke, BBI case lawyer who had Kenyans talking

By Eric Nyakagwa | Jan 20th 2022 | 3 min read

Lawyer Morara Omoke. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

His luxuriant but neatly-trimmed beard and stylish haircut when he appeared in the BBI hearings in the past three days got Kenyans talking.

But who is lawyer Morara Omoke?

He is one of the petitioners in the consolidated suit that sank BBI in the High Court and later in the Court of Appeal and was following the matter at the Supreme Court.

A maternal grandchild of George Morara, the firebrand former West Mugirango MP, whose death in a freaky road accident along the Kakamega-Kisumu Road remains unresolved more than 50 years later, Omoke is cutting a niche in the justice system.

Of the unresolved cause of the accident, he once told The Nairobian, the sister publication of The Standard, that “it is a sad thing for our country that we have been unable to address political assassinations”.

Omoke attended St Andrews Kaggwa, Nyansiongo and Mang’u High School and holds a first-class Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Nairobi and two Master of Laws degrees from Harvard Law School and the University of Nairobi.

The founder and managing partner of Morara Omoke Advocates has practised law for five years.

So, what inspired him to become a lawyer?

“Passion. If you do not have the passion to do something, you do not have any reason to do it at all,” he says.

Does he have role models? Yes.

“My parents for nurturing me with love and great sacrifices”.

How does he unwind away from weighty matters of the law?

Watching movies, listening to music and travelling is how he does it. He also likes cooking Kenyan food.

When, last year, the Nairobian asked him whether the BBI was the best route for the country to come to terms with its dark past, the answer was:

“I think the BBI is completely misguided and ill-suited to resolve the challenges Kenya is grappling with –like uniting the country.

There is no evidence that any of the BBI proposals will resolve what is ailing the country. I will give you an example, the BBI proponents said they want to bring to an end the cycle of violence and disputes around elections. But this cannot be achieved through additional constituencies and altering the structure of government”.

The solution lay, he said, “in implementing the current Constitution and statutes and that means holding free and fair elections. We should have a scenario where the winner and the victor have a telephone conversation. Where the loser congratulates the winner and the winner offers the loser a message of appreciation. It will also mean having issue-based debates before elections. What we need is a culture change not a constitutional amendment”.

In his books, the BBI concept is based on a faulty theory – that it was out to unite the country.

“The process followed by the proponents, President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, was very divisive. We have seen a lack of cohesion in government. The BBI has served as a distraction. There has been lack of focus especially in a time of a pandemic,” he told The Nairobian.

 He also said the initiative was doomed to fail because the proponents had no respect for the people’s right to public participation and information.

“The Bill was published on the internet and in English only which was a contravention of Article 7 of the Constitution which requires that important public information be published in Swahili, Kenyan sign language, braille and other local languages,” he said.

Download the BBI Judgement by all seven Judges - Civil Appeal No. E291 of 2021
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