LSK President Faith Odhiambo reveals why she rejected appointment as member of independent taskforce

KENYA

Upon being offered appointment by president Ruto as one of the Independent Taskforce members, Faith Odhiambo showed dissatisfaction with the offer, declaring it unconstitutional.

While declining the offer, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) president, Faith Odhiambo, claimed that it amounted to an overreach of powers by the Head of State since these duties reside with the auditor general.

In an interview with TV47 on July 8, 2024, she revealed her reason for declining this offer, tying the reasons to the persistence and intervention of the rule of law.

“When I heard the announcement by the head of state, my presumption was that the Head of State was looking at measures to air to the members of the public the questions that they have been having, which I still think are quite pertinent and important questions,” she stated.

According to her, what people want to know about the country mainly relies on how much debts has it accrued, from which loans, how much was taken from the Eurobond, how much has has been repaid, as well as how much did this government takeover after they came into power.

“The challenge with this government is it has been telling us that we have inherited quite a number of loans and to fill in that gap we need to ensure that we make austerity measures, we have to change a lot of things,” she said.

Faith stated that when the president made the statement of her appointment, LSK did not know what form and manner would be undertaken by the president as much as it was a signal that he is listening to Kenyans and trying to implement and create more transparency and accountability.

She recalled that when the former auditor general tried to do a review of the public debts, it was met with a lot of resistance, and that report has never been tabled.

Therefore, the uproar by Kenyans made her feel that this was a constitutional moment, the country is finally having the government to say yes, and is open to tabling such matters before the members of the public.

“LSK refusal to join the taskforce as is, is because the question of how and the procedures. The challenge that we were facing was, do you join something that will end up not having legitimacy and we have another BBI moment, an NADCO moment, or another Shakahola taskforce moment, or should we wait and do things the right way?”

“There needs to be a review to ensure that whatever process that is undertaken is above board, it has legitimacy, so that as the people are anchoring right now and saying that its time for us to know what has been going on and since right now there is the goodwill from the executive then we need to just change tact and ensure that whatever we do has legitimacy that can be embraced,” she added.

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