Law Society of Kenya (LSK) president Nelson Havi has declined to apologize or withdraw a memoranda sent to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Chief Justice nominee Martha Koome.
In response to Koome’s demand letter, Havi said his comments about the Court of Appeal judge were made in public interest.
“I need not say more on the question as to whether the reputation of Justice Koome has been lowered in the minds of right-thinking members of the Kenyan society in particular: commissioners of JSC, judges, judicial officers and advocates,” Havi said.
“It’s unfortunate that after praising the almighty for her rise to the Pinnacle of the legal profession, she appears to be starting on a wrong note. You will be a threat to free speech and democracy if you persist on this course.”
He also accused the CJ nominee who is set to be vetted by the National Assembly of not being transparent.
“She is determined to ensure that no one questions her conduct even before her nomination is approved by the national assembly,” stated Havi.
Koome has threatened to sue the LSK president of defamation for “embarrassment, ridicule, and odium” arising from the JSC memoranda.
She also accused Havi of trying to deny the “Chief Justice nominee an opportunity to advance her career as a judge and jurist, and forever tarnish and ruin her good reputation.”
“Since the writing and publication of these offensive words, our client has been shunned, avoided and treated with contempt and suspicion by her peers in the legal fraternity as well as in the Judiciary, not to mention her friends and family members,” the demand letter read.
“She is constantly required to explain herself against these baseless and malicious allegations, and she has incurred losses, damages, expenses, charges and costs.”
Through her lawyers, Koome demanded that Havi retracts and withdraws the memorandum within seven days by writing to the JSC and the LSK.
She also demanded that Havi apologizes within seven days by writing to her and copying both the LSK and the JSC.