The Political and The Legal Merge: Kenya’s Coalition Attorney-General

First off, let me just say that the nomination of AG should not be taken out of context merely because the Executive agreed on Prof. Githu Muigai. Kibaki is hardly the first President to nominate a “friend” or “ally” to the position of AG. In the US, John F. Kennedy nominated his own (inexperienced) brother Robert Kennedy who served as AG and let’s not forget Richard Nixon who appointed his Presidential Campaign Manager John Mitchell to be AG. The key issue in this nomination, to my mind, is one of merit. The next AG of the Republic of Kenya must be qualified, and extremely so given our complex legal history and forward-looking constitutional blueprint.

I think the questions Parliament need to ask themselves as they deliberate on whether to confirm Prof. Githu Muigai’s nomination as AG should all be aimed at answering the following key concern:

Does the AG nominee understand that the AG’s Chambers needs to be the voice for the rule of law in those close-door Cabinet deliberations and provide an honest appraisal of all applicable law even if the advice will constrain the Government’s pursuit of desired policies?

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The Cycles at Sheria House

About a year ago, I tried to get my business name registered at Sheria House. On my fifth visit, the lady at the counter said I couldn’t register the name because ‘Writing and Editing’ is not a real business, and neither is ‘Freelance Editorial Work.’

This year, I had to go to a different wing of Sheria House – the birth certificate section. I’ve already told part of this story here, but I never quite concluded it.

I was trying to add a name to my baby’s birth certificate. I started at Sheria House, and I was told to go to the tent at Uhuru Park. All birth certificate matters are handled there. I got there at 8.45am, and there was a queue but no staff, so I did a few laps and came back at 9.15. The queues appeared and disappeared … which means people stood in line until somebody broke off, then they’d scramble to the counter until the staff struck [striked?] and made them queue again. I was given a form, which I filled , then went to the cashier. He told me to go to Counter 2.

I should mention, by the way, that the counters are just four giant half-open tents with desks in them. It’s way less stuffy than government offices. There’s plenty of good ventilation, lots of grass to sit on, vendors with sugary stuff and cold drinks, and if all else fails, you could just fall into the nearby lake. Continue reading