Lawyers in Nyeri keep off yellow ribbon campaign

Friday February 16 2018

yellow ribbon campaign

Lawyers march in Nairobi streets on February 16, 2018 to protest against senior government officials' failure to honour court orders. LSK is documenting cases of willful breach of court orders by state officers. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOSEPH WANGUI
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Lawyers in Nyeri County declined to participate in the countrywide week-long yellow ribbon campaign announced by Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Isaac Okero.

The lawyers did not hold peaceful protests like their counterparts in other areas.

DIVISIONS

The yellow ribbon campaign is a protest to show displeasure over some government officials’ failure to obey court orders.

It was also meant to compel State officials to obey court orders.

The move by Nyeri lawyers indicate emerging divisions within LSK.

A Nyeri LSK official, who sought anonymity for fear of souring his relationship with top LSK officers, said Mr Okero made the declaration without consensus from all lawyers countrywide.

The official accused Mr Okero of playing politics and pushing a personal agenda.

The High Court advocate said the protest by his colleagues, mostly in Nairobi, was not a genuine cause.

“You saw it was only in Nairobi where a section of lawyers gave in to the LSK President’s calls. In other parts of the country the directive was just ignored because we are professionals and LSK is a professional body. Mr Okero never consulted us,” the lawyer said.

BUSINESS AS USUAL

He said such a declaration should endorsed by the LSK’s top council.

“LSK is a professional body and the group’s President is doing political activism. He has failed LSK and that is why he did not even seeking re-election. The election for a new President is just around the corner,” said the lawyer.

He also dismissed the initial calls by the LSK boss to boycott work and court attendance.

The lawyers have been turning up in courts for business as usual wearing their normal regalia and special robes for those in the Court of Appeal, while others at the lower courts adhered to the dress code.

Mr Okero had said wearing the yellow ribbons was to “protest high levels of impunity and specifically, when it reaches a point where State and public officers can flagrantly disobey court orders, then we know we are in dangerous waters.”