President Uhuru Kenyatta and Law Society of Kenya (LSK) Chairman Mr Eric Mutua have strongly criticized Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai (pictured) and the State Law Office (SLO) over the events that led to Kenyaâ€™s Sh1.4bn payout on the AngloLeasing scam claims.
In his words at a State House press briefing on May 15, 2014 a visibly angry President Kenyatta said “I was not the legal counsel representing our country (in court)”. They (SLO) must up their game. We cannot afford to lose another case â€¦â€
On his part, Mr Mutua on May 17, 2014 summed up the legal defense against the AngloLeasing payments as â€œunconstitutional, illegal and unprofessionalâ€.
The LSK boss demanded Prof Muigai team resigns and further threatened that he will bring up what he called â€œcertificates of dishonourâ€ for the Attorney General, Solicitor General Mr Njee Muturi and his Deputy Muthoni Kimani for â€œhurting the LSKâ€.
Cofek doesn’t hold the brief for the trio in anyway. Indeed it will be nearly impractical for anyone objective to fail to find a fault with the SLO on the failure to stop the AngloLeasing payments. The secrecy around the matter and failure to appoint a reputable, experienced and independent legal team to argue the Kenyan case overseas was not right, to say the least.
Additionally, disregarding the role of the Controller of Budget and Parliament in approving the latest payment, its legitimacy and urgency or otherwise notwithstanding, should have concerned the SLO trio on the clear breach of the Constitution.
Be that as it may, both President Kenyatta and Mr Mutua are being grossly insincere over what appears to be a deceptive â€œmob-justiceâ€ against the Prof Githu Muigai and his team. This is how?
Unlike previous Presidents, President Kenyatta had a detailed formal handover from the Kibaki administration. Again, he retained Attorney General Prof Muigai without similar parliamentary vetting his cabinet colleagues underwent.
The President has been chairing Cabinet meetings with Prof Muigai as one of the members. It amounts to mischief, therefore, for President Kenyatta to feign ignorance on the substance of the briefs he has either been getting or ought to be getting from Prof Muigai on why and how the case was supposedly bungled.
Indeed the President was unconvincing to have publicly castigated the SLO without having pronounced himself to the remedial action he had or was contemplating taking, knowing as he does, that he wields exclusive power to act beyond his lamentations and suggestions.
On his part, and with tremendous respect, Mr Mutua and the LSK are being opportunistic, overly reactive and playing to the public gallery. Both have been around as the AngloLeasing cases were running locally and internationally.
Prof Muigai, Mr Muturi and Ms Kimani being members of LSK, should have been easily accessed if needed. In this regard, it is unconvincing for Mr Mutua and the LSK to be seen to react to legal issues around the case in the manner a non-legal NGO would.
If Mr Mutua and LSK must be taken seriously, he must be clear on why they were not proactive to monitor the life of that case if indeed it has been that important all along. If the SLO was uncooperative, the LSK could have either sought to be enjoined in the matter by petitioning the local courts accordingly or publicly admonished the trio in good time.
That there is no trace of history in which Mr Mutua and LSK have attempted to do what they are belatedly doing is the height of hypocrisy laced with personal interest and one that is meant to divert Kenyans away from another similar scandal in the name of â€œMalili Ranchâ€ and for which Mr Mutua has been named by the Directorate of Criminal Intelligence as a prime suspect.
Indeed his prosecutorial fate now lies with senior counsel Mr Paul Muite. The reason the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has gone to such unprecedented lengths is because Mr Mutua is a member of the DPP Advisory Board and yet he has not stepped aside to allow the DPP to make an independent decision. That Mr Mutua and particularly the LSK has not addressed itself to this aspect speaks volumes about the finger-pointing directed at SLO.
Mr Mutua does not need to be reminded that the difference between AngloLeasing and Malili Ranch scams lies in the amounts of money lost and time within which they were perpetrated. The style and motive remain the same as is the fact that both scams are yet to be conclusively investogated.
That he did not resign over the Malili Ranch scam and went ahead to threaten â€œcertificates of dishonorâ€ to SLO team casts him and LSK in dim light of the public interest it purports to be pursuing in AngloLeasing while remaining mum on Malili Ranch scam.
In a nutshell, it would help if both President Kenyatta and the LSK chairman Mr Mutua would give Kenyans a break over the SLO and face the salient issues which are;
(a) Do we have senior public servants, still in office today, who aided AngloLeasing and other scams?
(b) What legal and administrative loopholes were exploited on the scam9s)?
(c) What are the legal, economic and moral implications of paying the Sh1.4 bn?
(d) What kind of composition an independent investigative commission can be contemplated on the â€œfresh investigationsâ€ ordered by the President?
(e) How soon can the all the AngloLeasing can be recovered and in what way?
Unless elaborate measures, embracing public participation, are employed in the search for real truth on AngloLeasig are sought the current tirades against Prof Muigai and his team are mere diversionary scapegoats.