City lawyer Allen Gichuhi wins LSK top seat
Lawyer Allen Waiyaki Gichuhi has won the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) presidential election held on Thursday.
The commercial litigation advocate and senior partner at Wamae and Allen Advocates garnered 2,675 votes to beat his rival James Aggrey Mwamu, who managed 2,145 votes in 38 polling stations, provisional results show.
With 17 years experience of handling-high profile cases in the banking and corporate world, Mr Gichuhi was in 2015 ranked in Band 2 by Chambers Global, which lists the best lawyers and law firms in over 190 countries.
Ms Harriette Chiggai was elected the society’s vice president after trouncing her main rival Joy Masinde.
SOLID SUPPORT BASE
Speaking at the Milimani Law Courts after casting his vote, Mr Gichuhi exuded confidence of winning the election, citing his solid support base, especially in Nairobi where a large percentage of lawyers are based.
“I am very excited about a victory because Nairobi basically is my stronghold. I am looking forward to the results tonight when I will emerge victorious. Countrywide there 9,909 lawyers and about 75 percent are based in Nairobi,” he said.
The Nation’s efforts to get a comment from Mr Mwamu on Friday morning were not immediately successful as his phone was switched off.
The election, supervised by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, was marred by a court battle after Nairobi lawyer Nelson Havi sued the society for locking him out.
Mr Havi lost the fight on February 6 after High Court judge John Mativo ruled that the society’s decision to reject his nomination papers because he did not have 15 years experience was not discriminatory.
Young advocates had also threatened to boycott the elections, arguing that the decision to restrict people seeking the position of president to 15 years of practice was discriminatory.
However, they changed their mind and took part in the Thursday polls.
Lawyers and political leaders have taken to Twitter to congratulate Mr Gichuhi on his victory, including Mr Havi.
“Congratulations Allen Gichuhi Waiyaki for your election as LSK President,” he tweeted on Thursday evening.
“My brother James Aggrey Mwamu, we tried but lost. It is time for you to retire.”
However, Mr Havi said the voter turnout was “exceedingly low”.
“A majority of voters having boycotted the election on account of age limit discrimination affecting the candidature of Nelson Havi,” he said.
Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said: “My brother Allen Gichuhi Waiyaki, please accept my warm congratulations on your impressive victory in your election as the new LSK President.”
“To my senior brother James Aggrey Mwamu, you fought the good fight. You are a gentleman. You will live to fight another day. LSK is a Family, let’s move forward together as we should.”
WELL ORGANISED CAMPAIGN
Some praised Mr Gichuhi’s campaign, saying it was well organised.
“Triumph follows the organised and the committed as rout does to the lazy and disorganised,” said Wakili Ochieng.
“Congratulations Allen Gichuhi Waiyaki. Other than the Lawyers’ President @NelsonHavi you were the only one exhibiting strength in the face of fear.”
LSK is Kenya ‘s premier Bar association and has the mandate to advise and assist advocates, the government and the public in the administration of justice.
It was formed in 1948 by section 3 of the Law Society of Kenya Ordinance, 1949, which was later repealed by the current Law Society of Kenya Act, which came into force on October 30, 1992.