Lobby group in court to stop Kajwang’ senate bid

Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang’ is facing fresh hurdles over his quest to become the first Senator of Homa Bay County.

A civil society group, Kituo Cha Sheria and Mr Luka Angaiyo Lubwayo have moved to court to block Mr Kajwang’ claiming he is not fit to hold any public office after being struck off the roll of advocates for professional misconduct.

“Mr Kajwang’ does not meet the threshold of integrity required by Chapter Six of the Constitution to warrant running for office whether public or elective after he was accused of misappropriating clients’ money and the disciplinary committee found him guilty and struck off his name,” said Lubwayo.

Mr Lubwayo argues in his affidavit that being removed from membership of a professional body in accordance with the law amounts to lacking integrity and that one must pass that test before contesting in any election.

Mr Kajwang’ was struck off the advocates roll after he was found guilty of misappropriating clients’ money on nine different occasions between 1999 and 2006.

However, he applied to be reinstated in July 2012. In December 2012, the Law Society of Kenya disciplinary committee allowed the request but made certain recommendation to the Chief Justice he had to fulfill before being fully allowed to practice.

The civil organization argued that the process of reinstatement has not been completed and technically Mr Kajwang’ is still struck off the advocates roll.

“The condition for reinstatement was such that for 24 months Mr Kajwang should practice under the supervision of an advocate of at least 35 years experience and should not practice on his own or partner with any other advocate,” swore Lubwayo.

According to the condition for his reinstatement, Mr Kajwang’ was for the first twelve months supposed to make a minimum of five presentations at LSK’s legal seminars on a topic he has expertise.

The society claims Mr Kajwang’ has not fulfilled the conditions and as such should be barred from contesting the Homa Bay senatorial seat.

They based their argument on Section 13 of the Leadership and Integrity Act which states that a state officer shall not engage in actions which would lead to him being removed from the membership of any professional body.

They want a court declaration that Mr Kajwang’ does not meet the qualification to contest any seat and an order directing the electoral commission to remove his name as a candidate for the Homa Bay senatorial seat.

Justice Isaac Lenaola certified the petition urgent and ordered that it be fast-tracked before the elections.

He directed the parties to file their submissions for inter-parties hearing on Wednesday.


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