Welcome to the Public Square

If the August 2022 elections are anything to go by, Kenyan citizens are naturally politically charged. We love to engage in political conversations. Sometimes it gets so heated we become so agitated that we’re willing to lose friendships based on politics.

When the Azimio One Kenya party led by Raila Odinga and Martha Karua headed to Supreme Court we all became learned friends following the cases in court like a football match. We analyzed the proceedings on Twitter and contributed to conversations about different lawyers and their submissions. Generally, the legal perspective in Kenya is generating a lot of interest among ordinary citizens and that’s why I’ll be your columnist. I’m a journalist, writer and researcher whose brain is endlessly curious. I’ve read and I’m reading volumes of articles and topics of interest and I can concur the legal facet of life is interesting.

I’m not a lawyer but I’ve spent a lot of time talking to advocates. There’s just a way that they analyze life and live alert in defense. Which has always woken me to the fact that I need to be aware of my dealings with people. What does a contract mean? How binding is it? Is it necessary? What happens when one person fails to honor their end of the bargain? At what time can the contract be declared null and void and can’t be legally binding?

This is a journey of discovery not only for me but also for you as an ordinary reader. I want to relate the legal world with ordinary life because we walk around and go to work unaware while also being indifferent. Until disaster strikes and you don’t even know where to start or who to go to. You find yourself in a position where you need to sue but you’re not even aware of your rights and what the constitution provides for you.

A friend of mine was working for a company that she really loved. She rose through the ranks and everything was fine because she was diligent. The company at large benefited from her good works. The lady led teams and even helped new employees settle in seamlessly in the company. One day after a work seminar, which was happening online, the Human Resource asked her to remain while everyone else exited the meeting. The HR manager began the conversation very well with praises and erudition for the progress she had made in a year of working there.

However things took a turn when the manager told her that the company was firing her. Apparently, they had run into financial constraints and had decided to downsize the workforce. Immediately after the call, she received an email of dismissal with no pay and all the company property she had was confiscated. For some time she didn’t know what to do but she spoke to a colleague who told her that she would get legal recourse if she decided to seek justice in court. Luckily she found an advocate who helped her file a case against her former employer. The company opted for an out-of-court settlement. Juliet (not her real name) and her former company came to an agreement where she was compensated accordingly.

Basically, my role will be to bring the advocates and the public together with the intent of fostering mutually beneficial conversations about the law and how to work together. Taura Communications conducted a research which had been commissioned by Juror Box on the uptake of legal services in Kenya. The research titled “Research report on the uptake of legal services by SMEs” revealed that many business people only engage lawyers when they’re in a crisis. Additionally the report showed that people shied away from lawyers due to a misunderstanding of the prices charged by different lawyers. “Are there things that you do not understand about the law? The most repeated response was the inconsistency in charges. Standardization of fees was an issue as was illustrated by one respondent. They claim that they fronted the same case to three different lawyers and firms and the costs where extremely different,” stated the report.

Clearly, there’s a huge mismatch between the legal fraternity and the public hence the inception of this column. This will be a bridge between the seemingly distant lawyers’ community and an indifferent throw-caution-to-the-wind public. When the richest man on earth Elon Musk first made known his intentions to buy Twitter, he called it “the de facto public town square”. Similarly, this column seeks to become the de facto public town square to serve everyone in a way that is relatable, understandable, practical and applicable. The column aims to reconcile legal jargon for Wanjiku and break it down in such a way that she can understand, digest and interact with the law. We’ll also have different voices from the legal community who will offer insight on how to win with the law and ensure that you’re always on the right side of the law.

For example, compliance with the law is a crucial factor that many businesses have to adhere to. The Taura research revealed that many small businesses fail to make it to their 3 rd birthday because of compliance issues. This public town square will churn out nuggets of wisdom and potent knowledge that will save you lots of losses, costs and public image tainting. Welcome to the “Public Square”!


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
Share on email


Looking at our current political climate, would mediation be the way to go to solve the rift between President William Ruto and former Primer
Dr. William Samoei Ruto and the Kenya Kwanza government officially crossed the 100 days mark this week. There is a lot to reflect and
It’s time the menace in the police department gets fixed I was an intern at Kenya News Agency in 2016 when the news of

Sign Up To Our Newsletter

Get notified about our new articles !