Jan 20, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Veteran lawyers disagree on Njonjo’s legacy

The lawyers Dr. John Khaminwa, Paul Muite and Prof. Githu Muigai said Mr. Njonjo is also a hardworking civil servant who understood his job during his 17 years at Sheria House as the chief legal officer of the government.

“He was a man of his type and a lawyer of his own type. He saw his job as protecting the state by ensuring political order and stability, “said Prof. Muigai, also a former AG.

” He was very suspicious of anyone who questioned the status quo and considered such a person an enemy of the state. “

He described Mr. Njonjo as a pragmatic lawyer who” worked hard to ensure that the constitution of independence, which contained complicated provisions, was brought into line with the political aspirations of the government he served without too much violence. “

For example, Mr Njonjo succeeded in the majimbo. to remove the system of government and the Senate and initiated one that became more centralized immediately after independence.

“He will no doubt be remembered as a man who shaped the legal system. He would have been more and earlier can do to Africanize the legal profession, but it shouldn’t be. It brought professionalism to the legal civil service and made Sheria House a center of excellence, “said Prof of the then government, said Dr Khaminwa that he managed to work as an AG with insufficient experience in the law firm.

He said Mr. Njonjo oversaw the establishment of the Kenya School of Law, which was founded in 1963 and 11 students were enrolled in it He noted that Mr. Njonjo played a key role in helping the school do its job and produce locally trained post-colonial lawyers.

On the administration of justice, Dr. Khaminwa said that during Mr. Njonjo’s tenure there had been immense interference from the executive branch and judicial decisions, and judges were not independent in cases that touched politicians.

Atrocities committed by the government < / h2>

Lots of people, he said, suffered from political persecution, no trial incarceration, and political murders during Mr Njonjo’s tenure.

“Several people were detained without trial during his time as an AG. It is difficult to say how much he himself contributed as Attorney General. Were they arrested by the President or did he contribute to the arrests himself? ” Khaminwa.

“There have also been suspicious deaths and murders. People died under mysterious and suspicious circumstances. Again, it is difficult to tell whether Njonjo knew what happened and what role he played in the government atrocities on the population. These are things that historians and academics can investigate. “

Lawyers representing suspected political offenders like George Anyona also worked in fear, said Dr. Khaminwa.

He added that Mr Njonjo is credited with helping overcome pressures that white settlers with vast tracts of land are evicted without compensation.

“He made a contribution which resulted in white people being adequately compensated and there was no unpaid evictions, “he said. Only in political cases, he said, judges did poorly.

Mr. Muite, another experienced lawyer and a senior legal advisor, said Mr. Njonjo was loyal to both Presidents Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel Moi and did not hold grudges.

One of Mr. Njonjo’s accomplishments, he said, was overseeing a peaceful transition and the handover of power in the succession from Jomo Kenyatta to President Moi.

“In my opinion the succession and transfer of power was a great success for Mr Njonjo on the African continent and not a popular M in central Kenya,” he said.

“He didn’t want any power himself and was content to continue serving as an AG. The decision to go into politics (1980) was not his, but Moi’s political intention to remove Njonjo from office. “President Moi and seize power by force.

Members of the Black Bar < / h2>

Mr. Muite was one of the advocates representing Mr. Njonjo when a judicial commission of inquiry investigated allegations of attempting to overthrow the government in 1983. His other lawyer was a white lawyer, Mr. WS Deverell. < / p>

“There was not a grain of truth in this claim. If anything hurt Njonjo, it was the thought that Moi might have believed that lie, “he said.

” Njonjo was absolutely loyal to both the first and second presidents. In the commission, the problem of Njonjo being a traitor was invented and hatched. “

Chief Justice Martha Koome said in her tribute, Njonjo” stood out as a lawyer and was a great encouragement to other members of the Black Bar “.

” Hon. Charles Njonjo played a pivotal role in founding the Kenyan Bar Association and delivered an exceptional legal approach that focused on ethos of practice and committed statecraft. Hon. Njonjo’s role in the creation of the Kenyan Republic will be as (a) evidence of the central role of the legal profession in establishing a just state and society, “she wrote.

She added:” His legacy will also serve as an inspirational reference for judges, judicial officers and attorneys on basic trial preparation considerations to expedite access to justice. ”

But attorneys Ahmednasir Abdullahi and Prof. Makau Mutua beat the CJ and urged them not to rewrite the story.

Mr. Abdullahi, responding to the CJ’s statement on Twitter, said, “It is very important for the Hon CJ to be truthful about history … always! To put on record that Charles Njonjo … was a great encouragement to other members of the Black Bar “is a lie … and a cheap one at that!”.

Mr. For his part, Mutua wrote on Twitter that Mr. Njonjo was “an important architect of a corrupt, fascist state”.

“I can’t – can’t – believe that CJ Koome wrote such blatant lies about the late AG Charles Njonjo has. He will go down in history as one of the most vicious, anti-black, vengeful and anti-democratic officials in Kenya, ”he said.