President Uhuru Kenyatta has expressed his concerns over acts of legislators representing state officers charged with corruption in court.
Speaking during Jamhuri Day celebrations in Nairobi on Thursday, the president stated that the acts amount to conflict of interest.
“It is not right for legislators who make laws in Parliament and move forward to represent accused persons in a court that will use the same laws to issue a judgement,” said the Head of State.
He pointed out that the leaders are not above the law and should choose on which master to serve.
“Is it fair for legislators to represent clients in court? You can’t use public office to advance personal gain….Those who take public offices must exit private practice,” he said.
“Our constitutional order is a jealous one. It demands that public officer serves no other master but it. You either serve the public in your role as an MP or Senator or resign to go serve as a private practitioner. Not both. You cannot be elected at the national and county level but still be a practising lawyer.”
The President’s comments seemed to be directed to Senators, doubling us lawyers, who recently represented Nairobi governor Mike Sonko in the Ksh357 million graft case.
The advocates include Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet Senator), Mutula Kilonzo Jr (Makueni Senator) and Daniel Maanzo (Makueni MP).
Other leaders who have appeared in court for state officers include Senators James Orengo (Siaya) and Okong’o Omogeni (Nyamira).
President Kenyatta directed the Attorney General to fast track the Conflict of Interest Bill for approval.
The president also took issue with nominated MP Wilson Sossion over his court battles with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) over his deregistration as a teacher.
“Individuals will come and go but institutions last. A teacher can’t have one foot in the classroom and another in parliament,” he said.
ODM nominated Sossion to the National Assembly to champion the interests of workers.
Last month, a Nairobi court suspended a gazette notice deregistering the embattled Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) boss as a teacher pending determination of a case filed by Sossion.