Ahmednassir should indeed be kicked out of Judicial Service Commission

“The good Doctor, who taught me professional ethics in my law school barely a year ago, said one integral component of intellectual honesty is to declare what may lead to biases in your opinion. I am a law student, who is a loyal reader of the daily Nation, and who, on reading an Interview on Daily Nation, I discovered that in Ahamednassir’s estimation the training I am undergoing is at best “pathetic”. No one likes to be pathetic. I also happen to be a peer of Moi University Law students, who, in the estimation of the learned lawyer, cannot answer a one plus one of law”

Ahamednassir

Ahamednassir

Article 171 of the Constitution of Kenya establishes the Judicial Service Commission. Its functions thereafter are outlined in Article 172. The Judicial service commission’s primary responsibility is to ensure the independence and accountability of the judiciary.

The Constitution, vests in the commission, authority to recommend to the President, persons for appointment as judges among other duties.

Section 3 of the Judicial Service Commission Act, 2011 sets out the objectives of the commission; while there is no allusion as to the order of importance, it cannot be lost that the first objective is to ensure that the Judiciary and the Commission are organs of management of judicial services and, in that behalf, shall uphold, sustain and facilitate a Judiciary that is independent, impartial and subject only to the provisions of the Constitution and the law

Section 3 (b) however requires the commission to facilitate a judicial process designed to render justice to all. As an officer of the commission, I can safely presume that that duty attaches to him, and that his conduct and speech, within his term of service should live strictly to those expectations.

The good Doctor, who taught me professional ethics in my law school barely a year ago, said one integral component of intellectual honesty is to declare what may lead to biases in your opinion. I am a law student, who is a loyal reader of the daily Nation, and who, on reading an Interview on Daily Nation, I discovered that in Ahamednassir’s estimation the training I am undergoing is at best “pathetic”. No one likes to be pathetic. I also happen to be a peer of Moi University Law students, who, in the estimation of the learned lawyer, cannot answer a one plus one of law.

That notwithstanding, I will attempt to be very objective in my discussion. It is my view that Ahamednassir’s conduct warrants his stepping down from the JSC. However, since he has declared his interest to still contest for the position, the Law Society of Kenya, has an obligation to kick him out of that position.

In the recent past, a local daily published a disturbing expose that brings into sharp disrepute the personal integrity of the lawyer. In particular, an allegation that the lawyer ‘forged’ a pupilage letter undermines what he has distinguished himself as, an advocate of truth.

Give it to him, the lawyer is among the very few Kenyan’s who stood up against the tyranny of Moi; and convinced many that he indeed was a person of exemplary standing and opinion. But as it would be, a little authority has exposed, in my opinion, who Ahmednassir really is, a brilliantly ambitious Kenyan who just knows what song to best sing- when.

Ahmednassir has undermined the very judiciary that he is supposed to ensure it is operating accountably and impartially.

As a member of the JSC, his opinion on certain matters certainly carries weight that could have profound implications. And, prudence would demand that we moderate our opinion, where our obligations impose on us a burden of facilitating a greater good.

The Constitution guarantees freedom of opinion and conscience, and Ahmednassir is justified to hold an opinion that the ICC is a foreign tool to perpetuate neocolonial schemes.

I would however imagine that the Lawyer also understood that the ICC is not a foreign court in the context of The International Crimes Act of 2008 which domesticated the Rome statute. I would also imagine that by that virtue the great lawyer understood that when he questioned the impartiality of the ICC, he was questioning the impartiality of Kenya’s legal system. This is perfectly in order. It could even pass as his role.

But wouldn’t his position require slightly more backing that the profound political harping of ‘western interests’. Wouldn’t the commissioner, perhaps need to expound, beyond stern talk, what the exact interests were?

Further, while the commissioner was questioning the ICC, which is certainly within his rights, was he aware of his obligation to facilitate a judicial process that gives justice to all people.

I beg to conclude that perhaps, his role of a publisher, which requires some sensation a times, got the better of his judgment.

This however is not an accident. Ahmednassir has shown that he can actually change and conform, with such an admirable ease.

No one for example, no one I remember, has ever written a glowing tribute of the former AG, Amos Wako as Ahmednassir; from a fierce critique to a near loyal defender. Just like a week to the General election, he highlighted with ease the shortcomings of the IEBC just to excuse those very shortcomings barely a month later in the Supreme Court.

I would like however to turn my attention to my confessed discomfort with Ahmednassir, the training of Advocates.

As a student, I have had instances when my training is inadequate, but what is sickening is that a person charged with developing the training of judicial officers sees fit to call students, ‘pathetic’ without offering any tangible solution.

And yes, the judicial service Commission has a constitutional mandate, in article 172 (1) d to prepare and implement programs for the continuing education and training of judges and judicial officers. While it is the responsibility of the Council of Legal Education to regulate legal training, some the Chief Justice, a colleague member at the JSC is the statutory head of the Council and Nassir would be better off advising him on how best to improve training in our law schools.

While this may be unsavory, as we read this interview on Daily Nation with a few peers, something cropped up. That a while ago, the Supreme Court gave a not so smart decision on the CORD petition, not the outcome of the petition. But a few of the smartest things in that ruling was a determination that the Supreme Courts involvement in Political litigation has to be faithful to the Constitutional threshold. That was a direct rejection of his persuasion to the bench.

Hold on some More

So many times I wake up in life, pressed with my unfulfilled wishes and aspirations. Pressed with unrealized desires and imperfections. Many a times, I wake up when tears are the most logical thing, or self pity or even giving up.

But yet still, whenever I see the promise of a new day, I understand then, that its an opportunity to try again, to hold on a while longer, to scale the cliff just some more.

I am always reminded by nature, that the most calm time is a minute after the storm and so the time when I should hope most is the time when desperation is at its peak.

I am reminded, that light is very appealing to the eye, when you have been unwillingly confined in darkness, that laughter is sweeter to the soul, when you have known tears.

Sometimes, what we face, the deserts we go through, is a way of preparing us to appreciate God’s abundance when it happens.

Blessed day Friends.

AFRICAN LEADERSHIP WRONG ON GEOPOLITICS

The African Union celebrated its 50th Anniversary in Addis Ababa with salvos being fired at ‘western’ forces that were keen on meddling with our internal affairs. Within the same breath, Rwandan President Paul Kagame told off those who thought aid was extremely critical to Africa that after all, Rwandese could go back to their hills and cultivate their potatoes.

The African leadership is certainly correct to say, Africans have to be in charge of their own destiny. But it is certainly wrong to impute that that necessarily means ridding ourselves of associations with certain parts of the globe, especially the west.

It is naïve to imagine that geopolitical interests are nonexistent or they do not influence municipal politics, indeed they are and history suggests that sometimes they lead to extensive arm twisting. However, 50 years on; Africa’s woes cannot be entirely blamed on the west.

Are geopolitics interests necessarily bad? No. The international arena is becoming heavily intertwined that it is an issue of prudent caution for nations to extensively audit their potential partners. This audit may from time to time lead to preferences but as long as the interference is not material, there is absolutely no illegality even if a country expressed its direct support for candidate A, or even sponsored candidate B.

African Presidents are acting hypocritical yet some of them have their campaigns bank rolled by foreign donors.

Africa cannot afford to continue believing that sovereignty means having the domestics entirely left to the locals, that Palmas notion has certainly been modified by globalization. It is time to know that as ultimate human civilization is neared, humanity becomes one and so will the caution about who sits on the international table increase.

The concept of sovereignty in my opinion does not exclude scrutiny.  In fact Africa should rise up to the international calling of shaping opinion even in other jurisdictions if it wants its interests best served. It is absolute naivety for the African leadership to demand that the west retreats and leaves African politics to Africans. That cannot happen, and it should not happen. As a member of the International Community, Africa must endure scrutiny as this is inevitable.

It is not in the interest of anyone, not nationals of African states or international allies to have persons who may jeopardize foreign relations at the helm of states. And expressing opinion about municipal politics by international allies is a sign of honest engagement which should not be demonized.

As the African leadership seeks to run away from scrutiny, it has visibly started shifting east. This is desirable in my opinion, as overreliance on one partner may make us beholden to them.

However, if this is motivated by assumptions that Eastern Allies do not question our propensities, time is certainly bound to erode that assumption.

China’s economic growth for instance firmed up when it opened itself to the rest of the world. And as it accomplishes the modifications to its own systems, reality is beginning to dawn that to protect its interests, allies have to be determined with caution.

The inevitability of globalization calls for Africa to endeavor to assert her influence instead of calling for other to withdraw their influence.