ACT AS PER LAW

MUTUA NDONGA: Don't treat Havi gently if found guilty of assaulting Wambua

The assault is a serious crime and can land a person in prison, be slapped with a hefty fine or both

In Summary

•Given his status in society, one would have expected the police to go slow or turn deaf ear to this matter. The police, however, choose to act per the law.

•As LSK president, Havi is supposed to serve as a role model to matters of the law. If it turns out he assaulted Wambua, then this would amount to utter disrespect and disobedience of his oath of office.

LSK CEO Mercy Wambua and society president Nelson Havi.
LSK CEO Mercy Wambua and society president Nelson Havi.
Image: THE STAR

I congratulate the police for moving with speed to arrest Law Society Kenya boss Nelson Havi following assault complaints lodged by the organisation's CEO Mercy Wambua.

Given his status in society, one would have expected the police to go slow or turn a deaf ear to this matter. The police, however, choose to act per the law.

The assault is a serious crime and can land a person in prison, be slapped with a hefty fine, or both.

But the key pillar of our Constitution hinges on the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. So, for now, Havi is innocent. The onus to prove the case lies with the complainant and the prosecution.

It should be noted that Havi’s run-ins with the CEO started when he was picked to lead the LSK.

Many believed her failure to sing his song and massage his ego was the root cause of the bad blood.

As LSK president, Havi is supposed to serve as a role model to legal practitioners. If it turns out he assaulted Wambua, then this would amount to utter disrespect and disobedience of his oath of office.

Since elevation, Havi has been behaving “badly” and on some occasions, he comes out as a person who is above the law.

For instance, during the hearing of the petition challenging the BBI Bill, he took on President Uhuru Kenyatta head-on.

In a show of total disrespect, we heard referring him to Mr Uhuru Kenyatta. Earlier, he was quoted saying Uhuru does not deserve to hold the position of president.

He took the anti-Uhuru battle a notch higher during the hearing of the appeal filed by the BBI promoters before the seven-judge bench of the Court of Appeal. Uhuru kept his cool and won’t respond in person.

During the recruitment of Chief Justice, the LSK boss faulted the Judicial Service Commission for nominating Lady Justice Martha Koome, claiming she had a ‘tainted record’ and hence unqualified to lead the judiciary.

He even wrote to the National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee and rallied members to reject the nominee.

Justice Koome, would not take this lightly. In a bare-knuckled letter written by her lawyers, Martha stated, "If Havi has an iota of truth, I challenge him to substantiate his claims. If not, I give him a 7-day ultimatum to apologize, failure to which I will sue him."

Havi did not produce any evidence. He, instead, chickened out.

With this, many accused him of playing partisan politics at the behest of those who feared that Koome would not spare any of the wrongdoers, no matter his or her status.

Given her track record and experience in law, she carved a niche of the best legal mind and a no-nonsense woman.

The in-tray was already full when she assumed the office. Topping the caseload was the mega corruption, money laundering and murder cases involving senior politicians and state officers.

The delay to hear the cases would be attributed to the provisions of the 2010 Constitution.

Besides making all crimes bailable, it granted the judicial officers discretions to set out bail terms. So, the accused would be slapped with lenient bails and released soon after being charged.

The officers would also fix the mention, hearing dates and in some instances postpone the hearing to a later date.

As such, most of these cases would drag in courts for years. The new CJ promised to address this problem. I wish her all the best.

Political analyst and blogger

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris