Lobby groups threaten to disrupt global Nairobi meeting over PBO Act

Civil society organizations (CSO) have threatened to disrupt a high–level global meeting set for next week in Nairobi, if the government does not gazette and commence the implementation of the 2013 Public Benefit Organisations Act (PBO Act).

CSO reference group convener Suba Churchill said they will hold a demonstration at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) to disrupt the meeting that will take place from November 28 to December 1.

“The government has an opportunity to avoid the embarrassment and it does not need to wait until November 28.We will carry big placards to pass our message,” said Mr Churchill on Tuesday during a press conference in Nairobi where he was accompanied by several CSO leaders.

The second high level meeting on the global partnership for effective development cooperation is an inclusive forum which helps government, business and civil society to work together to end poverty.

He said it is unfair for the government to delay the implementation of an Act that was passed in 2013 and wondered what the government intends to achieve through the delay.

Last month, High Court Judge Joseph Onguto ordered Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, to set and gazette the date of entry into force of the Act within 14 days.

Justice Onguto further declared that the delayed gazetting of the Act for more than 1,000 days since its signing into law on January 14, 2013, was “an abuse of discretion”, which should be exercised in public interest and deemed it “unconstitutional”.

The move followed an application by Trusted Society of Human Rights Alliance, which had sought a judicial review action against the CS, following his failure to implement the PBO Act, as well as his attempt to restrict freedom of association through the appointment of a governmental taskforce in 2015 which proposed draconian amendments to the already adopted legislation.

The Nairobi meeting is expected to prioritise actions to make development co-operation more effective across a diverse groups of actors.

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