MP opposes plan to enact conflict of interest law

By Christopher Owuor
Monday, December 16th, 2019
Parliament. Photo/File

Brian Musyoka

Mbeere North MP Muriuki Njagagua has opposed the proposal to enact a conflict of interest law, saying it would be discriminatory, hence a violation of the Constitution. 

The law would bar State and public officers from engaging in private practice, whether gainful or not.

Speaking after issuing driving licences to youths in his constituency,  the MP said the Constitution is clear that any accused person is free to hire a lawyer of their choice to represent them.

“When you bring in a legislation barring an advocate of the High Court of Kenya who, is an MP, to represent an accused person, then that legislation contravenes the Constitution,” he said.

The second term legislator said he would oppose the bill if it is tabled in Parliament.

He said about 50 MPs were lawyers and such legislation would kill their careers.

Destroy careers

“If you do not practice for certain duration of time you rust. You lose the skills, you lose your sharpness in court, no one who will  permanently stay in Parliament,’’ said Njagagua.

He urged the government to reconsider the bill, saying it would destroy the careers of many professionals including teachers, doctors and farmers.

In his Jamhuri Day address, President Uhuru Kenyatta accused some legislators of practising law instead of focusing on public service.

He said public servants should devote their time and energies on impacting on the lives of Kenyans, instead of using public office to advance personal interests.

The directive by the President came after Senate Leader of Majority Kipchumba Murkomen and Senate Minority Whip Mutula Kilonzo Junior joined Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s defence team in the Sh357 million corruption case.