|Dr. John K. Chebii|
|Dean School of Law|
The Moi University School of Law, established in July 1994 in time to admit its first students in 1995, will soon be celebrating its Twentieth anniversary. At the time, it was seen as a bold step to promote “social justice” and expand education opportunities for Kenyans. In time, we expanded our reach to include students from East and Central Africa. In reflecting on how we have fared since those days, I am proud to confirm that, we have surpassed our aspirations.
The first class graduated in 1999 and, have been exceptional trail blazers. In tandem with our objectives of “developing competent advocates committed to social aims of high quality legal representation, national development and public service”, Hon. Prof. Abraham Kithure Kindiki, Senator for Tharaka Nithi and leader of the Majority in Senate, a fast rising star in Kenyan Politics, Hon. Senator Hassan Omar Hassan, Senator for Mombasa, distinguished Human Rights, Advocate quickly come to mind. At the international level, Dr. Victor Mosoti continues to provide distinguished service at the World Bank Group in Washington DC, while Prof. Jackson Maogoto, who began his University teaching career in Australia, has continued to rise in academia in the United Kingdom presently at the University of Manchester. Mrs. Freda Kinya Githiru, has provided distinguished service as Head, Commercial Law Department, at her alma mater, Moi University School of Law, while Prof. Moris Mbondenyi continues to serve as Dean, the African Nazerene University School of Law, while Mr. Eric Ng’eno serves the government at the Office of The President.
In private practice, Adams Muthama in Mombasa; Godfrey Silas Imende at Mohamed Muigai, Advocates; Jomo Nyaribo in Nairobi to name but a few, continue to shine the Moi School of Law spotlight. In government, Commissioner Dorine Muthaura at the Kenya Law Reform Commission has curved a well deserved niche as a legal draft person, while Miss Getrude Angote, Currently Executive Director, Kituo Cha Sheria and Member Law Society Council, and in New York we have Dr. Godfrey Odongo who works at Wellspring Associates and Mr. Samuel Ollunga, at Acker, Merall & Condit Attorneys, who among others, have continued the Moi University School of Law tradition of promoting Social Justice and Public Service. I am sure our founding Dean Professor Alfonso Gaskins is proud that his efforts have borne so much fruits.
To the many of our graduates who serve the public with dedication and grace, we want to celebrate your achievement and urge you to continue doing the good work. I want to call on you also to organize mentorship programmes for the current students to encourage them to follow your successful examples and solidify their training with useful experiences.
I take this opportunity to appeal to all employers. It is no use lamenting that Universities are producing graduates who cannot fit into the work place. Employers should be proactive in taking an interest in students while still at school so that they can partner with Universities to expose the students to the skills that they will need upon graduation. While we do this by sending our students for Judicial Attachment, for exposure to court procedures and practice after their second year, which is followed by the Kenya School of Law (KSL) requirement that the students go for pupilage, it may well be that more needs to be done. In this regard, I want to sincerely thank the following law firms for their continued support to Moi University School of Law:- Mboya, Wang’ong’u & Waiyaki Advocates, Muriu, Mungai & Company, Hamilton Harrison & Mathews Advocates, Kaplan & Stratton Advocates, Daly & Figgis Advocates, Kalya & Company Advocates, Nyairo & Company Advocates, Mohammed & Muigai Advocates.
Moving forward, the challenge will continue to be the Kenyan population explosion that is reflected in increasing numbers of Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education candidates, who then get admitted to University and must be trained in the few facilities at Universities, Courts and Advocates offices. It is this challenge that we must all face and harness our concerted efforts in resolution. And it is to our graduates, who are now employers that we are now turning to take the lead.