Legal profession should be cleansedThe legal profession is in grave danger but it is trouble of their own making. It is true that every profession has its rotten eggs which makes it unfair to generalise and call every lawyer a crook, but we cannot really pull punches on this issue.
More to the point, the legal profession has always been a den of thieves but it is only now that more people are speaking out and seeking remedies to a situation that is both embarrassing to the clean lawyer and oppressive to the victims.
That is why statements by Chief Justice Bernard Chunga, Director of Public Prosecutions Uniter Kidullah and the chairman of the Law Society of Kenya, Dr Gibson Kamau Kuria, about the need to clean up the profession strike a chord.
Mr Chunga said as CJ he would spare no efforts to fight corruption, and other social vices in general, while Mrs Kidullah was more specific: In graphic language, She said the legal profession had been "convicted, sentenced to death and buried" because of graft.
Not quite, but many people, especially those who have been victimised by thieving lawyers, may wish it was. Two recent developments underline that need. The first one was in August when legislator Otieno Kajwang was disbarred by the disciplinary committee of the Law Society of Kenya for cheating a client. He did not refute the accusation, nor has he, to our knowledge, appealed the action.
The second was when the Association of Kenyan Insurers suggested that insurance firms pay beneficiaries of court awards with two cheques to protect them from lawyers who have made it a habit to either delay payment or steal the money outright.
As should have been expected, the Law Society of Kenya objected to the suggestion vigorously, though the arguments they presented proved to be less than convincing. The matter is still in abeyance, but the AKI move should be seen as what it was: an attempt to cut down the amount of thievery prevalent in the legal profession.
Of course avarice is not confined to lawyers. The Bench is also riddled with compromised magistrates and even judges who will dispense justice only for a consideration. But for the time being, we are concerned with lawyers and we hope the three institutions of CJ, DPP and LSK will work a lot more vigorously to try to at least sanitise the legal profession. They can do that. Thieving lawyers are not exempt from the laws of the land. BOYCOTT FOR DAILY NATION and STANDARD ON

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