"I'm disappointed she wasn't eager" Karen Nyamu on LSK President declining debt taskforce

Karen Nyamu criticises LSK President Faith Odhiambo for declining debt taskforce role. (Courtesy)

Nominated Senator Karen Nyamu has criticised Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Faith Odhiambo for rejecting President William Ruto's offer to join a taskforce to conduct a forensic audit of public debt.

Nyamu expressed her disappointment on Instagram, questioning Odhiambo's decision.

"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. She has turned down an opportunity to have Kenyans' interests represented by the premier bar association, in line with one of its objectives to protect and assist the public in Kenya in all matters touching, ancillary, or incidental to the law," Nyamu wrote.

"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 added.

Nyamu's post sparked mixed reactions, with some questioning the need for a taskforce.

One Instagram user asked, "Do we really need a taskforce while we have an Auditor General mandated to do the same task?"

Nyamu responded, "Does it mean a taskforce on Corona, for example, was to do the work of the Health CS? When necessary, a taskforce can be mandated to reign in on an issue of national importance."

The Law Society of Kenya and its President Faith Odhiambo declined to take up the appointment to the Public Debt taskforce formed by President William Ruto.

LSK CEO and Secretary Florence Muturi stated that the society believes the taskforce is unconstitutional, and its members would not take up any role in it.

"Taking cognisance of the provisions of Article 229 of the constitution and the interpretation of the said provisions by the court, it is our considered view that the establishment of the taskforce is unconstitutional," LSK said in a statement dated 5 July.

"The Council of the Law Society of Kenya has thus resolved that neither our president nor any of our members shall take up appointments or participate in the said taskforce."

The LSK noted that their decision is also based on a recent High Court ruling in a case where Trans Nzoia Governor George Natembeya was sued for forming a taskforce to probe the county's debt.

The High Court ruled that the Governor could have requested the Auditor General to conduct a forensic audit.

"The Office on Public Debt Management, headed by a Director-General at the Treasury and funded by public money, should provide details of public debt to the Auditor General for forensic audit," LSK said.

"It is essential not to use scarce public resources by appointing a taskforce to perform the duties of existing public offices."

President Ruto had appointed a four-member team to audit the country's public debt and release a report within 90 days.

The team is chaired by Nancy Onyango and deputised by Professor Luis Franceschi. Other members include Shammah Kiteme, Vincent Kimosop, and Philip Kaikai.


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