In Summary
  • According to Ms Kagwiria Mbogori, the chairperson of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNHRC), the NGO Coordination Act that created Mr Mahamed’s body was replaced by the Public Benefits Organisations (PBO) Act 2013.

  • Despite the president assenting to the Bill and two court orders in November 2016 and May 2017, the responsible Cabinet secretary has not set its operationalisation date and that means it cannot take effect.

  • Ms Mbogori demanded an immediate operationalisation of the Act.

The man who has been fighting two non-governmental organisations since Monday is illegally in office together with his board, a State-funded human rights commission said on Wednesday.

Mr Fazul Mahamed, the executive director of the NGOs Coordination Board, could not be in office if the Cabinet had obeyed court orders to operationalise a Bill passed by Parliament and signed into law in 2013.

THE LAW

According to Ms Kagwiria Mbogori, the chairperson of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNHRC), the NGO Coordination Act that created Mr Mahamed’s body was replaced by the Public Benefits Organisations (PBO) Act 2013.

Despite the president assenting to the Bill and two court orders in November 2016 and May 2017, the responsible Cabinet secretary has not set its operationalisation date and that means it cannot take effect.

Ms Mbogori demanded an immediate operationalisation of the Act.

“Continued delay will only serve to create more uncertainty and disorder in the sector and perpetuate the illegal conduct of affairs by the defunct NGO Coordination Board,” she told journalists at a press conference at KNHRC’s offices in Nairobi.

LSK

Separately, Law Society of Kenya (LSK) president Isaac Okero called for the activation of the PBO Act, noting that the government’s failure since January 2013 to bring the rule into operation is not in the interest of the public.

“The existence of a vibrant independent civil society is a hallmark of a democratic and free nation,´ Mr Okero said at a press briefing at the LSK headquarters earlier on Wednesday.

“The failure to bring into operation the PBO Act leaves in place the absence of a clear statutory framework which encourages oppressive expressions of impunity.”

Both the law society and KNCHR asked acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to effect the Act immediately.

At her press event, Ms Mbogori detailed the hurdles encountered so far in pushing forward the PBO Act.

COURT ORDER

In 2015, two years after its assent, various parties moved to the High Court in a case The commission was enjoined as a friend of the court to push for the actualisation of the Act.

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