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Western donors funding NGOs warned

The United States and the Britain are among five Western nations on the watch of the Jubilee government for allegedly pumping billions of shillings into local non-governmental organisations for the 2017 elections.

A secret memo from the NGOs Coordination Board to National Intelligence Service Director-General Philip Kameru also lists the European Union, United Nations Development Programme and agencies of Norway, Denmark and Finland as having given close to Sh16 billion.

The memo warns that the organisations are funding local organisations to influence the next General Election under the guise of supporting charity and pro-democracy agencies.

This may be the reason President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jamhuri Day warned foreign governments not to interfere in local politics.

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“In the United States, following the last election, much has been said about potential foreign interference with the electoral process,” President Kenyatta said.

“There is already money coming into Kenya from abroad in the guise of supporting good governance or civic education. However, its true intention is to influence our electoral choices.”

The memo by the board’s executive director, Mr Fazul Mahamed, dated November 7, cites as funding the NGOs such organisations as the EU (Sh3.1 billion), USAid (Sh2 billion), the UK’s Department for International Development, DfID, (Sh2.6 billion), and the Norwegian aid agency Norad (Sh530 million). The others are the Danish organisation Danida (Sh2.1 billion) and the Finnish Government (Sh875 million).

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COORDINATED DONOR SUPPORT

“Over the past few months, the board has noted a coordinated donor support to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with increased funding directed towards democracy, capacity building and governance programmes primarily designed at enhancing active participation of civil society groups in the political and electoral process of the 2017 election,” reads the memo copied to Chief of Staff Joseph Kinyua and the Principal Secretaries for Interior and Foreign Affairs.

It claims that USAid, under the Kenya Electoral Assistance Programme, gave money to a network of NGOs to participate in the electoral process in capacity building, advocacy, coordination, voter registration and civic education.

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It also claims that UNDP is funding the Amkeni Wakenya 2017 programme to the tune of Sh4.5 billion to support active participation of civil society in the electoral process. Amkeni Wakenya loosely translates to “Arise Kenyans”.

In February, the EU contributed Sh543.3 million to the elections basket fund managed by UNDP .Through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, which operates in 18 counties, it is spending Sh152 million to increase the election of women and their participation in the elections.

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