Lawyer Havi: Maverick or playing to the gallery? - Beaking Kenya News

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Sunday, 18 October 2020

Lawyer Havi: Maverick or playing to the gallery?


Law Society of Kenya president Nelson Havi has called for the dissolution of Parliament due to failure to meet gender parity.

However, some critics say the society he heads does not meet this threshold. He admits, as there are only three men out of 10 members, which he describes as the unpredictable outcome of democracy.

But he says while Article 81 (b) requires not more than two-thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender, LSK is not part of them.

The Law Society of Kenya Act does not provide for that requirement, he says. However, he is forming a task force to review the Act to ensure parity.

He, however, says those who are fighting him based on the LSK gender composition are using what he calls “schoolboy defence” instead of focusing on the issue at hand.

In an interview with the Star, however, Havi says his call for the dissolution of Parliament is not limited to the failure to pass laws to implement the two-thirds gender rule.

He says Parliament is not constitutionally constituted based on the gender rule, unlike the county assemblies.

Secondly, he cites High Court judge Joseph Onguto’s ruling in December 2016 in which he ordered the disbanding of the Cabinet for failing to uphold the gender rule.  

Onguto, however, suspended his decision for eight months on grounds that if the then Cabinet was to be disbanded, it would create unnecessary tension at a time when the country was preparing for the 2017 polls. Four years later, that is yet to be fixed.

What does this have to do with Parliament? Havi says it has aided in the contravention of this rule.

“Parliament keeps on approving nominees brought to it by the President,” Havi says.

He adds that Parliament has failed to sanction the President for failing to appoint 41 judges as recommended by the Judicial Service Commission.

He fingers the Legislature for failing to check on the Executive “and particularly the President” so that they do not continue burdening Kenyans with loans.

Additionally, Havi says MPs have failed to check on state agencies to help in the fight against corruption and in ensuring nominated state officers meet professional and integrity qualifications. In effect, Havi says, the Executive has emasculated Parliament.

And despite promising a Brave New Bar, and getting support from young lawyers and winning on that platform, Havi is now being fought from the inside.

Why so? He says it is because the government of the day has always infiltrated and controlled the LSK, which he is now fighting.

For instance, he now accuses his secretary of frustrating the LSK. He further alleges that six council members have been compromised and that he has evidence to prove that.

But who is Havi, whom some have described as maverick?

Havi was born in December 1977 in Mwihila, Kakamega. He grew up in Likuyani and went to Nangili Primary School.

He then proceeded to Musingu Boys High School, where he scored an A-. His performance secured him a slot at the University of Nairobi, where he studied law. He practised in two law firms before starting Havi and Company Advocates.

He is vocal about democracy and accountability and intolerant of mediocrity.

Political ambitions? He says in his high school autobiography in 1995, he signed, "I want to be President of Kenya’.

How about his love controversy? He says many great men like Martin Luther King and Bill Clinton were accused of sex scandals when their critics found nothing else.

“In any case, I am a man and I have a right to my sex life,” Havi, who recently added one more feather on his hat as a Maragoli elder, concludes.

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