First, court actions were instituted in the protection of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) registered as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) where the National NGOs Coordination Board felt like has unfettered powers to make arbitrary and capricious decisions.
While the two and four incidents of respective attacks on the Evans Kidero Foundation(EKF) and Kenya Human Rights Commission(KHRC) represents very systematic targeting, the cases of Muslim for Human Rights(MUHURI) and HAKI Africa presents the most punitive and callous attacks, ending with the deregistration of the organizations, freezing of their bank accounts and suspension of their insurances.
Moreover, the cases of the EKF, Key Empowerment Foundation Kenya and Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation (KMF) presents a politically motivated attack targeting the initiatives of families associated with the opposition between 2003 and 2007.
Further, court actions were instituted in the protection of the civil society organizations registered as companies limited by guarantees to which the NGOs, Coordination Board zealously wanted to extend its irregular jurisdiction under the wrong assumptions that it has a sweeping mandate over every civic organization irrespective of the diverse regimes governing them. The cases of the African Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG), International Federation of Electoral Systems (IFES) and Katiba Institute (KI) presents this situation.
In addition, KHRC also went to court to protect various Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) who are arbitrarily arrested for allegedly being involved in illegal assemblies or violently targeted or killed for being steadfast in their struggles for justice and accountability in the country. The arrest of Happy Olal and colleagues (in 2016) and the killing of Willie Kimani and two others (in 2016) are the unfortunate cases in point.
Further still, we petitioned courts in furtherance of creating an enabling environment for CSOs, media houses, bloggers and journalists. It is on that basis that the cases advancing the commencement of the Public Organizations (PBO Act) and challenging such repressive policies like the Kenya Information and Communication Act (KICA) and surveillance gadgets proposed by the Communication Authority of Kenya(CCK) against the telecommunication companies in Kenya was instituted. This also entails the protection of the freedoms of association by the sexual minorities in Kenya. Thus the case seeking the registration of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC- between 2013 to date) is historical.
In most of these above cases, the NGOs Coordination Board was the key duty bearer targeted for its unfair administrative actions. Other agencies targeted for directed by the Board or directly culpability includes the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), The National Police Service (NPS), Inspector General of Police (IG), Attorney General (AG), and CAK among others.
Courtesy of our progressive Constitution and judicial activism enshrined within both the Constitution and the Judiciary, the court have made very progressive decisions which shaped the existence of the affected organization or reversed repugnant legal and administrative actions.
Evidently, since 2013, the clawing back the gains of the Constitution and attendant laws of Kenya has been the hallmark of Jubilee government. The cases demonstrated above have particularly shown that the government, especially the executive arm through the NGOs Coordination Board and other agencies, has deliberately, blatantly and with impunity, disregarded the very tenets of democracy as enshrined in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution.
10th December 2020.
Moses Gowi: +254782 352527, [email protected]