If what I have heard is factual, then the tragic story of Ronald Oimbo’s unsuccessful five years struggle to complete the 18 months Advocates Training Program (ATP) represents all that is wrong with the Kenya School of Law (KSL), the Council of Legal Education (CLE), the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and the Judiciary.
For the last one year that he has been my classmate at KSL, the fifth year since his admission to ATP, the name Oimbo has evoked the spirit of struggle, of courage and of defiance against systemic weaknesses that have prevented many lawyers holding LLB certificates from transiting to be advocates.
Oimbo may be accused of recklessness in certain aspects of his many struggles against KSL, CLE, LSK and Judiciary. My interpretation of this is however the reaction of a young man struggling with the psychological impacts of a protracted lonely war against entrenched interests in a profession. Even when he was declared to be no longer eligible to sit for Bar Exams, Oimbo continued to mount fearless struggles in the classroom, in Students – KSL/ CLE fora and in courts. He was determined to be an Advocate, even though senior personalities would publicly swear that he won’t succeed.
Those who have sat with Oimbo in class or listened to him speak on any subject taught at KSL will tell you that this was a bright young man. It is this brightness and his courage that made his fellow students appoint him as a student leader, to represent them in engaging a system that had clamped him down, again and again.
When he felt that the system was deliberately targeting him, like any courageous fighter who had nothing left in him but the Samsonic power, he went on the offensive and exposed the inequities of those who took a high moral ground against him in his struggles. He is reported to have submitted petitions to the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, the Courts and the Judicial Service Commission against corruption and integrity issues affecting senior personalities at KSL, CLE, LSK and Judiciary who he accused of a conspiracy to stop him from becoming an advocate, allegations that touched on the very integrity and capacity of the institutions to offer credible ATP, Bar Exams, justice and management of a profession.
Ronald Oimbo was crashed by a speeding motor vehicle on the night following the day the 2018/19 ATP class completed its final paper of the Bar Exams. He was out with friends and was reportedly crossing the road at a pretty busy night spot on Langata road.
The question is how fast could someone be driving at such a busy area so as to run over and kill a pedestrian? It comes out that the vehicle that ended the life and five years struggles of this young man against personalities in KSL, CLE, LSK and Judiciary is owned by a senior advocate in Nairobi. Was it just a coincidence that Oimbo was killed by a senior Advocate’s Mercedes Benz, at a busy spot, on a night following the last paper of the 2018/19 ATP Bar Exams, as he awaited to give evidence that would have brought down senior officials at KSL, CLE, LSK and Judiciary?
Is Oimbo’s case that of a young man found unfit of being an advocate or was it that of a free and independent soul that refused to be subjugated by entrenched interests in a profession?
On the tomb stone of the late Thomas Joseph Mboya (August 15th 1930 – July 5th 1969)in his father’s compound at kaNdiege in Rusinga Island, the following message is boldly inscribed, “GO AND FIGHT LIKE THIS MAN, WHO FOUGHT FOR MANKIND’S CAUSE, WHO DIED BECAUSE HE FOUGHT, WHOSE BATTLES ARE STILL UNWON.”
May these words inspire those who remain to fight the unwon battles of Oimbo or similar to Oimbo’s.