22 August 2017

Kenya: High Court Suspends De-Listing of Khrc

Photo: Kayiri Wahito/Daily Nation
Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice board member Haron Ndubi (left) joins Kenya Human Rights Commission executive director George Kegoro and board member Maina Kiai at the human rights group’s offices at Gitanga Road, Nairobi, to protest its de-registration by NGO Coordination Board.

The High Court has suspended deregistration of Kenya Human Rights Commission by the NGOs Coordination Board.

Justice Chacha Mwita issued the order on Tuesday following an application by the rights watchdog.

CASE

Through lawyer Nzamba Kitonga, KHRC had sued the NGOs Coordination Board following the August 14 directive that cancelled its certificate of registration.

The directive was issued by the NGO Coordination Board Executive Director Fazul Mahamed through a letter copied to the Central Bank of Kenya, Kenya Revenue Authority and other State agencies.

In its case, KHRC argued that Mr Mahamed's decision was arbitrary, and that it was likely taint its image internationally as well as affect its operations.

The agency argued that it was never issued with a notice to give an explanation on the matter, or any opportunity to be heard before the action was taken.

According to the lobby, its image, internationally, is bound to suffer since it had been "maliciously" accused of tax evasion, money laundering, misappropriation, embezzlement and diversion of donor funds.

"As the leading human rights organisation in the country, KHRC maintains the highest levels of financial and operational integrity.

"It demands the same of the public authorities it seeks to keep accountable," Mr Kitonga said.

The commission asked the court to suspend the directive until its case is heard and determined.

The judge granted the request.

LSK

He ruled that KHRC's operations would be jeopardised if the orders are not granted as requested.

He directed that the order should remain in place until October 2 when the matter will be mentioned for further directions.

The Law Society of Kenya is listed as an interested party.

The LSK wrote to the board on August 15, protesting against the deregistration of the rights group.

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