President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday used part of his speech to criticize a growing trend where elected public representatives take up private professional practices that negatively affect their service to the public.
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During his Mashujaa Day speech at Nyayo Stadium, President Kenyatta said there was need for a law that would prevent public officials from taking up private engagements that have a conflict of interest on their positions.
He cited the case of legislators who play an oversight role on other arms of government, acting as lawyers for the very same people they are supposed to supervise.
President Kenyatta directed Attorney General Kihara Kariuki to fast-struck a law that seeks to prevent public officials, both elected and appointed, from engaging in situations where there is a conflict of interests.
"Professionals who take up state and public offices should give up private practice. You either serve the public in the role you signed up for or you serve the republic as a private practitioner. It is a profound conflict of interest to do both."
"Our constitutional order is a jealous one; it demands that state and public officers serve no other master but it. A teacher in the Public Service cannot have one foot in the classroom and the other in Parliament. One cannot serve as a legislator at the National or County Level while at the same time practicing law, whether or not for gain," the head of state said.
The statement came amid a complain by the DPP over the legal representation of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko whose lawyers include Senators Mutula Kilonzo and Kipchumba Murkomen.
The DPP had also in the past sought to bar Siaya Senator James Orengo from representing Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu given that the public prosecutor is answerable to the Senate where Orengo sits.
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