The beleaguered LSK Council’s plans to renew the contract of the divisive Secretary have hit a brick wall after the High Court in Nakuru suspended its opaque, collusive recruitment exercise. Lawyers practicing in Nakuru had gone to court to challenge the recruitment process, saying that it lacked integrity, was skewed to favour the widely discredited incumbent, and is a collusive effort of the Council.
Apollo Mboya continues to occupy the office of Secretary despite having been sent on compulsory leave by a General Meeting of the Society. Mboya is not a stranger to controversy, his latest being a widely condemned publicity stunt where he received a goat at the LSK Secretariat as a token of apology from an indicted hate-monger on behalf of the Luo Council of Elders. This so ired the Luo community as that the Nairobi Governor, Dr. Evans Kidero called him a “stupid boy”. Kenyan lawyers did not take the action kindly.
A few years ago, Mboya, then a State Counsel at the Treaties and Agreements section of the State Law Office, was accused of leaking confidential information to unauthorized parties. In retaliation, he accused his boss, then solicitor General Wanjuki Muchemi of slapping him, further alleging that he was being victimized for being a Luo and ODM supporter.
Mboya led efforts to have the LSK join Raila Odinga in his ill-fated presidential election petition in support of ODM.
But the genesis of Mboya’s woes at the LSK is the International Arbitration Centre scandal, where Council proposes to build a multi-billion shilling centre in Nairobi’s South C district without members’ authorization. The Council has been accused of inflating figures to accommodate kickbacks and loading the price of their escapades onto members’ fees for annual practicing certificates. In particular members have queried the general accounts of LSK, the absence of internal audit structures, opacity in its processes, favouritism, irregular procurement and unlawful initiation of the arbitration centre whose quantities are over-inflated.
Members had suspected that the move to re-appoint Mboya is connected with the upcoming LSK Council elections, in which the besieged Council is expected to face a rough time.
Lawyers are appalled that this much-sued, much-discredited and much-hated Council is seeking re-election from members, almost to the last person. A number of cases filed by membership wait in court as Council also conducts its own actions, ranging from internal disciplinary to fully-fledged suits, to try and rein members in. The Nakuru case is only one such case. To deflect attention from its expired credibility, Council has been tinkering with ‘national issues’, such as calling for the disbandment of the Supreme Court and intervening in sporadic hate-speech incidents. It does not seem to possess the intellectual nous to take on such matters as the state of public management, integrity and democracy as well as the enhancement of fundamental rights.
Without Mboya in the driver’s seat, Council will be ill-equipped to withstand a blistering torrent of outrage and chastisement from members disenchanted with its intransigence, incompetence, corruption and impunity.