Kenyans Blast Karen Nyamu for Criticizing LSK’s Faith Odhiambo for Declining Ruto’s Appointment

July 8, 2024

Nominated Senator Karen Nyamu expressed bewilderment over Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Faith Odhiambo’s decision to decline President William Ruto’s appointment to a task force tasked with auditing the country’s public debt.

Nyamu, known for courting controversy, criticized Odhiambo for rejecting an opportunity to serve the interests of Kenyans.

“I’m not sure the rationale for LSK president Faith Odhiambo to decline the President’s appointment to the taskforce that will conduct a forensic audit of Public Debt,” Nyamu stated.

“She has turned down an opportunity for Kenyan interests to be represented by the premier bar association,” Nyamu added.

The LSK, in its response to Ruto’s appointment, cited constitutional concerns, particularly underlining that auditing public debt falls within the purview of the Auditor-General as stipulated in Article 229 of the Constitution.

Florence Muturi, LSK Secretary, highlighted this constitutional provision and the judiciary’s interpretation, asserting the task force’s establishment as unconstitutional.

“The Law Society of Kenya Council has therefore resolved that neither our president nor any of our members shall accept appointments or participate in the said task force,” the LSK statement clarified.

Additionally, the LSK cautioned against the task force’s potential financial burden on already strained public resources.

Karen Nyamu, however, took issue with Faith Odhiambo’s stance, interpreting her refusal as a lack of enthusiasm in addressing Kenya’s significant debt crisis.

Nyamu emphasized the severity of Kenya’s debt challenges, labeling them as crucial obstacles to the country’s development trajectory. She expressed disappointment that Odhiambo did not seize the opportunity to contribute to the initial steps aimed at resolving the crisis.

“Public debt is a momentous challenge we face as a country and I’m somewhat disappointed that she wasn’t eager to be part of the first step to figuring it out,” Nyamu remarked critically.

Nyamu’s comments reflect ongoing debates about the proper channels for addressing national economic issues and the roles of constitutional bodies in safeguarding public interests.

The controversy surrounding the task force appointment underscores broader concerns over governance, constitutional interpretation, and the responsibilities of professional bodies in national affairs.

Kenyans Respond to Karen Nyamu’s Criticism of LSK President Faith Odhiambo

Nyamu faced criticism after she criticized Odhiambo for declining the appointment, with many Kenyans siding with the LSK leader.

One social media user, Sheila Hilsden Kimulwet, praised Odhiambo for her steadfastness and reasoned decision-making, suggesting that such attributes define true leadership.

“She’s wise and level headed. Not easily swayed like most of you. That’s how true leaders are made. Focus!” Sheila wrote.

Another Kenyan, Gilbert K Koskei, expressed skepticism, questioning the necessity of forming a new committee when the Auditor General’s office already fulfills the auditing role paid for by taxpayers. He challenged Nyamu’s assertion of representing Kenyan interests, arguing it might be more aligned with personal or political interests.

“Don’t say Kenyan interests. It’s your interest and president. We have Auditor General whom we pay from taxes to do audit. Why form another committee to waste public resources. What will be the work of the Auditor general office??? You are a lawyer and you know.”

Lyin Mwende supported Odhiambo’s decision, commending her for standing against what she perceives as corrupt or inefficient leadership practices. She opined, “She(Odhiambo) is not ready to be part of rotten leadership. kindly Respect her decision and let her be!”

Similarly, Pauline Wangari defended Odhiambo, noting that the constitution designates the Auditor-General for audits, implying that creating another committee might serve alternative motives.

“I don’t see anything wrong with her decision because I understand that job belongs to the office Auditor-General (OAG). Whatever game the government is trying to play, it’s not gonna work this time around.”

Dekibe Denoh concurred, emphasizing that Odhiambo’s decision aligns with legal requirements, asserting that only the Auditor-General is mandated to conduct audits.

“She has not, she has just followed the law…she said the only person who can do the Audit is the Auditor General.”

Lastly, Osire K’Kiriago critiqued Nyamu’s stance, emphasizing that Odhiambo’s explanation was clear and comprehensible, “She explained…are you unable to read?”

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