Tribal divisions, political affiliation and intense lobbying played out as lawyers elected new Law Society of Kenya (LSK) officials yesterday.
Allen Gachuhi and Aggrey Mwamu, eyeing the LSK president seat, voted at the Supreme Court polling station in Nairobi, both promising to revamp the organisation as a vocal mouthpiece for lawyers and Kenyans in general.
The two camps had conducted hot campaigns in their respective strongholds. Voting, conducted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials, started at 8.30am and closed at 5pm at the Supreme Court and Milimani Law Courts.
Campaign managers from the two camps could be seen making frantic calls and holding consultations with the key players.
The elections were clouded by Jubilee-Nasa rivalry as politicians seek to influence the powerful body which has role in the appointment of magistrates and judges. Elections Observation Group deployed members in all 28 polling stations across the country.
Addressing the press jointly, Gachuhi and Mwamu expressed satisfaction with the turnout and reiterated LSK’s independence as a professional body.
They commended young lawyers for coming out in large numbers to vote.
“We must stick to our campaign platform and return the LSK to its lost glory,” said Gachuhi.
On his part, Mwamu said his team was prepared to deliver its mandate by promoting the rule of law and the constitutional rights and freedoms enjoyed by the citizenry.
“We don’t live in Utopia. We must speak out and protect all freedoms, especially the freedom of the press,” he said.
The vice-president’s seat contest has also attracted two candidates, Chiggai Harriet and Joy Masinde.
Vocal politicians, including former presidential candidate Martha Karua, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Homa Bay MP Peter Kaluma and his Ruaraka counterpart Thomas Kajwang voted at the Supreme Court.
A contender for president must have practised law for 15 years, a condition that had seen young advocates threatento boycott the polls.