By Peter Lemmy Wasilwa
My very noble and wise brothers and sisters, with utmost respect to all my seniors and distinguished members of this great profession; this is not the ordinary letter that we do in the course of business, for we are not now in business instead we have downed our tools for the enemy is burning our wig and tearing down our robe. The purple ribbon tells our story.
That ours is a noble profession is not in doubt. A profession that still is, what we all thought it to be before we joined; but the sound of the bullets, piercing of knives, and smell of poison and the hit of blunt objects turns it into a battle field, with no fair play. While we are armed with the Law as we chant for due process, the enemy is armed with a gun, knife, poison and blunt objects. Caesar, like the proverbial Ostrich has buried his head in the sand while we bury our own. Learned Friends, the threat is real and we better know how to deal with it for our profession is immortal but mortal we are.
We cannot quit the struggle for a free and just society even if the enemies have been consistent and have now perfected their acts of intimidation and their philosophy is now that of elimination. We are stronger than the cowards for we are a family of iron men and women. I write to remind you that the struggle has always been won by Learned Friends. The legendary icon of freedom and a great hero of our time, Nelson Mandela, a Learned Friend, brought down the otherwise presumed immortal apartheid; President Barrack Obama, a Learned Friend, overcame the challenge of racism to rule the world. Counsels, our victory is coming soon, let us fight on.
We are at a point of no return. We have made so much gain and covered enough ground to quit the struggle for a free and just society. It has been years of toil and sacrifice; I will not forget to remind you that absolute freedom is enjoyed because of the brave. Learned Friends, our course is higher than our mortality; for we do it so that the rest can get justice and live in a free society.
Caesar does not seem to recognize and appreciate the role we play and guarantee our protection. Let us protect ourselves Learned Friends, for we are tired of the purple ribbon. We would rather plead Section 17 of Cap 63 than turn the purple ribbon into a flag of our noble profession. This I believe we all agree it has now become an inevitable decision to make. Our very able elected leaders in the Law Society; you are our umbrella body, provide the much needed shelter and push Caesar for the protection of members, I beseech thee.
We may have buried #Willie, just like we have buried other learned colleagues before, but We, who are still on the battle field must not relent until we crush the enemy and dedicate the victory to them, so that their death would not have been in vain.
I believe in and hold much respect for the Learned Friends who chose the noble path of training and mentoring those who join the profession. Yours is a heavier responsibility, I’m confident you are equal to the task as you have done it before. Pass the mantle and forget not, to remind those you train; that they are the soldiers whose contribution we need in the course (that)we pursue-that of a just and free society. Remind them that the noble profession is only a preserve of the men and women of courage, not the faint at heart.
Learned Friends, when the enemy shows up, like he did to #Willie, I believe #Willie remembered this and I hope you will also remember: – “I…………, affirm that I will at all times uphold the Rule of Law and Administration of Justice and that without FEAR or FAVOUR I will well and truly discharge my duties as an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya. So help me God.”
The author, Peter Lemmy Wasilwa, is a Lawyer and a Post-Graduate Student who is keen on the development of the Law and the observance and protection of Human Rights. He aspires to see a just and free society. He can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.