Hivos East Africa condemns the unwarranted attempts by the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Co-ordination Board at intimidating civil society organisations in Kenya. Their attempts to de-register the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and the Africa Centre for Open Governance (AFRICOG) are unlawful and must be understood as part of an ongoing broader agenda to delegitimise civil society, clamp down on public accountability and scrutiny, and unjustifiably limit the freedom of expression of citizens. There have also been directives, orders and legal attempts to raise barriers against civil society operational activities, advocacy, expression, assembly and resources.
As these events unfold, it is worth noting that the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, where the NGO Coordination Board is situated, has been in contempt of a court order to commence the Public Benefits Organisations Act 2013 since 19 June 2017.
AFRICOG and KHRC are both leading human rights organisations that have experienced intimidation, threats and attacks for championing constitutional leadership and integrity, transparency, public accountability, civic participation and good governance. Individual officials within the management and membership of these organisations have also repeatedly come under personal attack for supporting judicial and other public accountability processes against public officials. Both organisations continue to be vocal on free, fair and credible elections, and the fight against corruption.
More broadly, there is a glaring failure of the state to protect activists from threats, intimidation, violence and even killings. This has created a climate of fear and trepidation.
Read more at Hivos East Africa