The race for the Law Society of Kenya’s (LSK) male representative to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has narrowed down to two contestants after one participant dropped out of the race.
Alex Gatundu, who has been widely described as a decoy and not ‘so serious’ for the position is said to have ‘stepped down’ in favor of Macharia Njeru.
This makes it a two-horse race between Professor Tom Ojienda and Macharia Njeru.
Professor Tom Ojienda
According to legal analysts, of the two remaining contestants, Professor Tom Ojienda seems to have an upper hand given his experience on the corridors of power and justice though should expect a fierce opposition from Macharia Njeru.
Professor Tom Ojienda journey to recapture the JSC position has been rocky with clear efforts from certain quarters to frustrate and block his ambitions. The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) tried to deny him a clearance certificate was it not for the ruling of the court among other intensified attacks including from the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI).
Professor Tom Ojienda’s proponents say that his efforts to ensure that the justice systems is felt by the people at the grassroots level will propel him ahead of his competitor. The recent was the JSC’s okaying for the hiring of 40 judges across the country to ease the continuous shortage in courts.
During Professor Ojeinda’s tenure at the JSC, records at the judiciary show that the arm has increased the number of High Court stations from 14 to 34 in a span of 5 years with others still under construction.
Magistrate courts as of 2016 were 120 compared to 109 in 2011. Also, more Kadhi Courts were constructed and instead of the 15 courts in 2011, by 2016 there were a total of 56 among other notable developments.
Not long ago, there weren’t much female staff in the Judiciary, however, during the period under review, out of 25 judges of the Court of Appeal, 8 of them are women. What this means is that the institution is decentralizing and properly getting staffed for better justice provision.
Notably, the Court of Appeal waiting time reduced from nine years to three years, and outer stations hearing appeal matters on a real-time basis.
Apart from case backlog reduction, the Judiciary, in five years from 2011, has improved budget allocation. The institution’s fund has been operationalized and an internal capacity created to manage it competently.
Among other financial transitions include the institutionalization of results based on budgeting and the establishment of a financial management and accountability system. Moreover, the Judiciary has also strengthened its procurement and accounting capacity in order to meet regulatory standards and customer needs
He is the Managing Partner of the Firm of Macharia-Mwangi & Njeru Advocates and is a Senior Advocate/lawyer of the High Court of Kenya with over 22 years experience in practice.
He is a Notary Public, Commissioner for Oaths and a Certified Public Secretary. He has a Bachelors of Laws (Upper 2nd Class Hons) Degree from the University of Nairobi and a Postgraduate Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law. He started as a litigator battling in high profile cases. He subsequently specialized in Corporate law and conveyancing with a special focus on banking and financial services generally, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, property law, consulting, set up of start ups, restructuring of companies, Corporate governance and general Commercial advise. He is a past Chairman of Fina Bank Rwanda (now GT Bank Rwanda), was a Board member of Fina Bank Kenya(now GT Bank Kenya) for over 7 years and Fina Bank Uganda(now GT Bank Uganda) until 2013 when he left the respective Boards. He was further a Director with Kenya Airports Authority for 3 years and was instrumental in negotiating and structuring of the financing of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport expansion.
Njeru sat in the task force on police reforms of the National Police Service, and was the Team Leader responsible for developing the Legislation restructuring the National Police Service in line with the new Constitution of Kenya. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Independent Policing Oversight Authority.
Njeru has wide experience in legal transactions in the entire East Africa Region. He is a member of the Law Society of Kenya, the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries and East African Law Society.
If you were a lawyer, who would you vote for? Give us your views.