Government hard hit by own move to shut down IDLO

Key arms of the government and a number of ministries could be hit hard after the decision of the State to shut down the offices of the International Development Law Organisation (IDLO) and stop its activities in the country.

Among the institutions that have benefited from IDLO activities include Parliament, Judiciary, Office of the Deputy President, Office of the Attorney General, the National Gender and Equality Commission, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and the National Council for Administration of Justice.

Others include the ministries of Mining, National Treasury, Devolution and Planning, Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya Law Reform Commission and Council of Governors.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich told the Nation that he would check the areas they were coordinating with IDLO before knowing the consequence of their absence.


“For now, I cannot really say how their closure will affect us because I have not done any assessment. I will give a comprehensive update later,” Mr Rotich said. 

In a two-page letter dated October 5, the controversial chief executive of the NGO Coordination Board, Mr Fazul Mohamed, ordered the immediate shutdown of IDLO offices in Nairobi and asked that all active operations and programmes in Kenya be stopped immediately.

“Following the revocation of the Host Country Agreement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IDLO has effectively lost its legal status in Kenya… the Board therefore directs that you must immediately seek to obtain a certificate of registration under section 10 of the NGO Coordination Act to enable you to acquire the requisite legal status to allow you to operate in Kenya. In the meantime, all IDLO activities are hereby suspended with immediate effect,” Mr Mohamed said in his letter.

The State also asked Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge, and the Director of the Financial Reporting Centre to freeze the accounts of IDLO held in Kenyan banks with immediate effect.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed last month withdrew the diplomatic immunities and privileges enjoyed by the organisation.


IDLO’s technical support to various institutions in the country has seen the enactment of over 50 pieces of legislation since 2010 relating to representation of people, human rights, climate change action plan; mining legislation and over 15 laws relating to environment and natural resources management.

The organisation has worked in the country for the past eight years and has supported programmes aimed at creating awareness on constitutional implementation and the roles of various stakeholders, including development of periodic statutory reports by the Judiciary and key constitutional commissions.

It has also assisted in strengthening public participation through support to the office of Attorney General and the department of Justice in the ongoing development of the national public participation policy.

IDLO was involved with the Committee of Experts that developed the 2010 Constitution of Kenya, and the Commission for Implementation of the Constitution from inception to conclusion of its mandate.

The organisation is thought to have been targeted over its support for the Judiciary that Jubilee linked to the September 1 Supreme Court decision to nullify the presidential election.


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