6 November 2013

Kenya: Lobbies Oppose New Bill On Donor Funding

Civil Society leaders Ken Wafula (L) and Stephen Cheboi at a meeting in Eldoret yesterday where they rejected the bill Photo/Mathews Ndanyi

Civil Society groups have opposed a new bill in Parliament, which seeks to regulate funding of NGOs by foreign donors.

Representatives of 70 NGOs and Community Based Organisations in the North Rift region said the bill is part of a wider scheme by Parliament to muzzle the freedoms and rights of Kenyans.

The Miscellaneous Amendment Bill on the NGOs Act will limit foreign funding for civil society groups not to exceed 15 per cent of their expenditure.

It has already been published and and awaits to be taken to Parliament.

"We are totally opposed to such a bill and its part of the schemes by the government to muzzle all sectors in the country," said National Association of Human Rights Activists president Ken Wafula.

He was addressing the press in Eldoret town yesterday.

Wafula was with CEO of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy Nick Omito and George Wesonga from the Rural Focus for Development.

They want the government and Parliament to consult Kenyans on crucial issues and bills.

Transparency International deputy programmes officer Joan Magut has also cautioned Parliament not to pass laws that frustrate the wishes of Kenyans in the constitution.

"Kenyans had a lot of hope in this constitution but Parliament is working to undermine it and unless they are stopped then we are heading towards the wrong direction," Magut said.

The NGOs warned that Parliament is on the war path to undermine all freedoms and institutions, which Kenyans has achieved through the passage of the new constitution.

"Freedom of expression and institutions is under threat from this Parliament and the next victim will be the President if he does not help Kenyans to tame the MPs," Wafula said.

He told Uhuru to abide by his word and not sign the Media Bill because Kenyans are opposed to it.

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