By MOSES NJAGI
The raging public spat between Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and controversial lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi found its way in the Senate, with some members questioning the suitability of the former Judicial Service Commission member to hold the distinguished title of Senior Counsel.
The title of Senior Counsel is the highest honour granted to members of the legal profession, under their umbrella body Law Society of Kenya (LSK), owing to their exemplary performance. Senators questioned the suitability of the firebrand former Chairman of LSK to hold the title claiming that his public controversial conduct did not merit him holding the prestigious title.
Without mentioning him by name â€“ as this would require the members to move a substantive motion to discuss him â€“ Senators took advantage of the privileges of the House to give a thinly-veiled attack on Ahmednassir, even as they called on the committee that confers the honours to ensure that only lawyers who display high standard of conduct are rewarded with the title.
â€œLuckily, the chairman of this committee is a member of this House in the name of Attorney General emeritus Amos Wako and we are urging him to ensure that they do not dish out Senior Counsel status like the way our courts are dishing ex-parte orders,â€ said Siaya Senator James Orengo, himself a Senior Counsel.
Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale took issue with the alleged manner of disrespect that Ahmednassir had resulted to addressing elected members, claiming that his reference of elected legislators as test-tube politicians was an insult to the institutions where these members are elected.
â€œThis is a person who failed to win an election of his professional body, with a membership of only 6,000, yet he goes around insulting members of this House elected by over 100,000 voters. This is demeaning of a person who has been conferred the respectable title of Senior Counsel,â€ said Khalwale.
Murkomen, who has been engaging the lawyer in social media exchanges since the controversial weekend article by Ahmednassir, said the former LSK chairman was a disgrace to the special club of respected lawyers holding the title.
â€œI feel ashamed when I see that instead of some of these people being role models to young lawyers, they are only seeking to satisfy their selfish desires and personal ego. They surely donâ€™t deserve the conferment of this title,â€ he said.
Murkomen added: â€œThey are only being driven by the desires to accumulate wealth and bragging to Kenyans what they have acquired. They are only keen on accumulating what Karl Marx refers to as primitive wealthâ€.
Moses Njagi writes for STANDARD.