UN Convention Against Corruption

Systematic “Crack Down on NGOs”, and a non-gazetted Act

United Natioins human rights experts have warned Kenya that “it appears that there is a systematic and deliberate pattern to crack down on civil society groups which challenge governmental policies, educate voters, investigate human rights abuses and uncover corruption.

These issues are extremely important in a democracy, and attempting to shut down the debate taking place in the civic space threatens to irreparably taint the legitimacy of the upcoming elections,” (Original source of the press release, external link). Journalists may follow up on that warning with useful reports:Ask your local watchdog NGOs what they have experienced and what they fear. How could government action affect them specifically. You may also enquire with officials if there is a good reason for containing NGOs.

The UN press release also carries a serious complaing: The Kenyan government has not gazetted the Public Benefit Organization (PBO) Act, which was signed on 14 January 2013. This Act aims to “encourage and support public benefit organisations in their contribution to meeting the diverse needs of the people of Kenya.” but has not been operationalized, “despite a court order directing the Government to do so,” the experts said.

You may read this act in the RoGGKenya laws & rules section to find out why the government might not like it.

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