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Activist Okiya Omtata eating our lunch, ‘hungry’ lawyers complain

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has complained that activist Okiya Omtatah is taking lawyers’ jobs through multiple filing of public interest litigations.

LSK president Allen Gichuhi said Mr Omtatah is eating into their work and is taking more limelight through the cases.

“Of course we as lawyers are concerned that Mr Omutata is getting a lot of leeway in the courts and in several instances we have raised in the past that he relies on information provided by disgruntled elements in a corporation or in government using confidential and privilege information,” said Mr Gichuhi.

He said LSK is concerned over allegations that the activist employs lawyers to do his drafting.


“Omtatah is taking limelight. He is taking lawyers’ work because more Kenyans tend to trust him because he has become a name in himself. But we as lawyers have the greatest mandate to initiate these public interest litigations,” said Mr Gichuhi.

Speaking in Nyeri town on Monday after meeting advocates drawn from Nyeri and Nanyuki, Mr Gichuhi, conceded that the constitution allows any citizen of Kenya to file a public interest litigation.

“We as LSK under Section 4 of the of LSK Act have already started. So far, since we came to office we have filed four public litigation cases. The latest being against the executive order number two by the President,” he noted.

He spoke after LSK Nyeri chairman Wahome Gikonyo protested that Mr Omuattah could be abusing court and that he is more of an advocate.


“He is more of an advocate. Why do I need to be a lawyer if anyone else can represent people in court and he is a layman?” questioned Mr Gikonyo.

Another lawyer Njuguna Kimani also complained that activists are using Article 258 (1) to dig into the lawyers’ job.

“Activists are busy than lawyers. They are earning more in the name of public interest litigation,” said Mr Kimani.

Mr Gichuhi defended lawyers caught up in fraud and money laundering scams in the country.

Mr Gichuhi said the lawyers are innocent and that they get duped by clients into conducting illegal transactions.

He stated that LSK is working with the Ethic s and Anti-Corruption Commission to make guidelines that will protect lawyers from getting involved in money laundering.


“We want guidelines to inform lawyers to be on the lookout for clients who may use them on the pretext of purchase of land or any other transaction while it is actually disguised money laundering. Those guidelines will actually assist us in the fight against corruption. They are so many caught up,” said Mr Gichuhi.

He termed as a great concern that some lawyers face possible prosecution over money laundering charges.

“In other jurisdictions like the United Kingdom they have got good guidelines which we would like to borrow here in Kenya and we do not want to be left behind. It is also one of the standards of protecting the profession and members of the public,” said Mr Gichuhi.