State probe on AfriCOG and KHRC begins

AfriCOG Chairman John Githongo (left) and Lawyer Harun Ndubi. Photo: Willis Awandu, Standard

The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG) are Friday required to furnish the Government with details of their operations in the country.

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AfriCOG and KHRC officials are supposed to present their registration certificates, list of current board of directors or trustees, valid Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) tax compliance documentation and details of all bank accounts, including signatories’ names.

They are also supposed to have lists of all donors for the last three years, details of all funds received including purpose of funding, list of projects in the last three years and all staff lists complete with their details.

The two organisations are also required to present names, designations and copies of valid work permits for all experts working for them as well as details of collaborations with other organisations.

The officials should also show lists of counties where they operate and any other documents deemed fit for the review.

The documents are meant to be presented to a multi-agency committee formed by the Government to review the operations of non-government organisations in the country.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho communicated the formation of the nine-member committee to review the status of KHRC and AfriCOG.

In a letter dated August 16, Mr Kibicho, acting on a directive by acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, asked top officials of agencies to nominate representatives.

The committee to be chaired by Interior Principal Administration Secretary Joseph Irungu will have its first meeting at Harambee House Friday morning.

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Those asked to nominate representatives were National Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Monica Juma, Solicitor General Njee Muturi, KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini and NGOs Co-ordinating Board Executive Director Fazul Mahamed.

Others are KHRC Executive Director George Kegoro and AfriCOG Executive Director Gladwel Otieno.

In letter, Kibicho instructed the officials to either attend the meeting in person or nominate a representative.

But Thursday, AfriCOG distanced itself from the nine-member committee meeting to be held today.

Civil society groups have called for the abolishing of Mr Mahamad’s office, saying it exists unconstitutionally.

Kagwiria Mbogori, the Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNHCR) chairperson, said the NGO Co-ordination Act that created Mahamed’s organisation was replaced by the 2013 Public Benefits Organisation Act.

AfriCOG chairman John Githongo said the organisation was registered as a company, limited by guarantee, and not as an NGO, hence the board had no power to deregister it.

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