Written by KHRC    Tuesday, 09 December 2014 11:47   
POST 2013 LEARNING FORUM ON ELECTIONS AND ELECTORAL PROCESSES IN KENYA

 

The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) in collaboration with the Institute for Education in Democracy (IED) and the International Commission of Jurists – Kenyan Section (ICJ-K) organized a 2-day learning platform at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha that brought together key state and non- state electoral stakeholders.

The objectives of the forum were i) to share with relevant institutions, the observations, findings and recommendations from recent by-elections; ii) to discuss, enrich and commence preparations on the adoption of recommendations aimed at improving the management and administration of upcoming elections and iii) to develop a road map of required administrative and legal reforms within the current electoral cycle.

The forum saw over 40 representatives from civil society organizations, the Judiciary, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, National Police Service, Political Parties Disputes Tribunal, the National Registration Bureau and Political Parties attend and participate in the electoral discourse. Notably, Ms. Lilian Mahiri-Zaja (Vice Chairperson, IEBC), Ms. Lucy Ndungú (Registrar of political parties), Mr. Mohamed Alawi (Commissioner, IEBC), Ms. Grace Maingi (Executive Director, Uraia Trust), Mr. Justice Luka Kimaru (Judge, High Court), Mrs. Susan Mwongera (CEO, Youth Agenda), Ms. Tryphaena Estambale ( CEO, Political Parties Dispute Tribunal), Ms. Anne Nderitu ( Director, Voter education and Partnerships, IEBC), Ms. Immaculate Kassait (Director, Voter Registration and Electoral Operation, IEBC) graced the Forum.

 

The forum entailed presentations by key experts followed by plenary discussions. To this end, Mr. Oloo led a presentation and a discussion on the gaps in the electoral legislation and the role the courts play in the electoral process while highlighting the importance of dispute resolution mechanisms and electoral jurisprudence emanating from the supreme court; Mr. Mike Yard – the Chief of Party-IFES, highlighted the issue of technology in elections with a focus on what technology can and can’t do during elections; Ms. Grace Maingi, underscored strategies on the implementation of the 2/3 gender rule; Ms. Lucy Ndungú highlighted and reiterated the role political parties play in elections with a focus on the challenges political parties faced during the 2013 general elections as well as the way forward; Ms. Carol Werunga of KHRC, underscored the human rights perspective in elections with a focus on the political participation of persons with disabilities; and Ms. Susan Mwongera highlighted the challenges youth faced during the 2013 electioneering period. Lastly, IEBC was able to share their strategies that will see them deal with the challenges around voter registration, party lists, nominations, dispute resolution, the participation of special interest groups in electoral processes, voter education and the use of technology in the electoral process.

As a result of the forum, a comprehensive report, highlighting, among other things, a road map that identifies key issues, strategies, timelines and responsibilities is being developed and will be shared with all participants for validation before being shared with other stakeholders.

                                                                       25TH-28TH NOVEMBER

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 December 2014 08:59 )
 
Written by KHRC    Wednesday, 25 June 2014 19:05   
TORTURE: UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

Torture survivors inspect the Nyayo House torture chambers that were used during the repressive Moi regime in the '80s and the '90s to suppress voices calling for democracy in the country. The torture chambers must remain preserved as part of memorialization,  which is a form of transitional justice mechanism as a record of history and to prevent the recurrence of abuse.  Torture survivors inspect the Nyayo House torture chambers that were used during the repressive Moi regime in the '80s and the '90s to suppress voices calling for democracy in the country. The torture chambers must remain preserved as part of memorialization, which is a form of transitional justice mechanism as a record of history and to prevent the recurrence of abuse.

While cases of political torture seem to have reduced in Kenya, torture while in police custody is still rampant, and mostly due to impunity. 

 

2014 THEME: FIGHTING IMPUNITY

 On June 26th every year the world marks the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Today the world stands in solidarity with victims of torture, to reiterate the fact that torture is a gross and cruel violation of human rights. The day is anchored in the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT) that seeks Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Kenya ratified the convention in 1997.

The theme for this year’s campaign is Fighting Impunity.

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Read more... Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 June 2014 19:39 )
 
Written by KHRC    Wednesday, 18 June 2014 11:34   
FORGOTTEN IN THE SCRAMBLE FOR LAMU

A Position Paper in the Case of the Aweer and Fisherfolk

KHRC's LAPPSET Position PaperKHRC's LAPPSET Position PaperA call to avert development induced poverty as is a common consequence of mammoth development projects that displace people and alter their way lives.

During the period between March, 2011 and April, 2014, the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) set out on a series of fact finding missions to Lamu spanning from . This was spurred by concerns voiced throughout KHRC’s collaboration with various community based organizations in Lamu and had the sole purpose of interrogating the validity of community fears in regard to the proposed Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Project.

Lamu hosts indigenous peoples who have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for exercising their right to development. In recognition of the fact that indigenous communities are predisposed to human rights violations; the fact that land rights have historically been a thorny subject even for dominant ethnic groups along Kenya’s Coast; and the fact that Lamu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on which the Aweer and fisher folk are solely dependent for their livelihood, this Position Paper focuses on the land rights, economic, social and cultural rights of the people resident in Lamu prior to the LAPSSET Project and in particular the indigenous Aweer and fisher folk community. It raises concerns that the manner in which the LAPSSET Project is being administered will relegate host communities further into the periphery of poverty and invisibility and offers recommendations on how to urgently mitigate against this adverse yet imminent outcome.

The KHRC launched the  Forgotten In The Scramble And Petition of Lamu: The Case of the Aweer and the Fisher-folk on the 18th of June, 2014 at the Manda Island in Lamu.

The findings of this audit raise a red flag that if the LAPSSET Project proceeds in the same manner as it is being currently administered, it is unlikely to result in poverty reduction and improved livelihoods for the people that inhabited Lamu before the Project’s onset.  KHRC intends that the recommendations of this Position Paper will be applied towards ensuring that the LAPSSET Project results in inclusive growth of the Lamu community and sustainable development. To this end, the Position Paper offers recommendations on how various stakeholders may engage towards achieving the state of respect for human rights and environmental justice in implementing colossal development projects.

For these reasons the Position Paper:

  1. Recommends that the development of the oil and industrial infrastructure is not executed in a manner that displaces existing and potential livelihoods. On the contrary, it should complement, even boost local capacities for production. It further exhorts government to support host communities towards adapting to new developments without being compelled to abandon old trades. They should, in addition, be enabled to compete effectively in emerging economic activities;
  2. Recommends that historical economic marginalization of communities and persons should be addressed within its immediate and appropriate context rather than through blanket “development projects” whose impact might be to aggravate the incidence of marginalization;
  3. Argues for the protection and promotion of the rights of indigenous communities in light of pressure to modernize and of their continued vulnerabilities;
  4. Argues for a comprehensive Equality and Non-Discrimination policy which also anchors questions of affirmative action, for the benefit of marginalized communities, groups and persons. It, thus, calls for the establishment of equalization models and benefits-sharing standards that seek to rebalance age-old disparities;
  5. Tests the principle of “Public Participation” with regard to the Constitutional thresholds of public involvement in government decision-making as part of the broader end of good governance and accountability. It is suggested that a minimum standard for public engagement in questions that directly affect the well-being of communities be established;
  6. Echoes calls for a well-managed, yet, timely transition into the newly established land tenure systems and structures of accountability as well as the continued regulation of the system thereafter;
  7. Argues for the expansion of grievance redress mechanisms beyond those that are presently utilized by communities, for the resolution of cases of violation of economic, social and cultural rights by State, corporate entities and development partners alike. It suggests viable avenues of grievance redress, beyond the conventional structures of accountability; and
  8. Urges the respect for human rights by the State, corporate entities and citizens alike. As such, it suggests the establishment of, among others, protective legal frameworks and the enforcement of law and policies to protect vulnerable persons and communities from the adverse effects of large scale development projects.

 Please click here to download the report. 

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 June 2014 11:54 )
 
Written by KHRC    Thursday, 22 May 2014 07:40   
Mau Mau Memorial

THE MAU MAU MEMORIAL LAUNCH

Close Up of the Memorial Statue of a Male and a Female Mau Mau. More images available in the photo gallery Close Up of the Memorial Statue of a Male and a Female Mau Mau. More images available in the photo gallery

 

NAIROBI 22 May, 2014 Members of the Mau Mau War Veterans Association inch closer towards closure on the torture under the British Colonial Government in Kenya over 60 years ago

Today marks another momentous occasion when the members of Mau Mau War Veterans Association move toward closure on torture suffered under the colonial government in Kenya. The Mau Mau Memorial entails a monument structure and two statues of the Mau Mau and is to promote reconciliation and commemorate all those who suffered on all sides during the Emergency period. Click here for more images of the memorial. 

The establishment of the memorial is a part of the settlement reached between the Mau Mau War Veterans Association (MMWVA) and the British Government announced in June 2013.The memorial constitutes a lasting expression of reconciliation.

In June 2013, the British Government made a historic statement of regret over the atrocities that that were perpetrated by the colonial government during Kenya’s Emergency period of 1952-1960. This was part of the out of court negotiations settlement wherein each of the 5,228 claimants identified as having suffered acts of torture was to be paid an ex-gratia payment of British Pounds 2,650 being Kshs. 340,000/-.  In addition, the settlement also included the construction of a memorial in Kenya in memory of Kenyan victims of the colonial era torture.

In 2003, the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC)was approached by the MMWVA to support victims of the colonial era torture which took place during Kenya’s Emergency period of 1952-1960. The Mau Mau War Veterans Association opted to bring individual test cases of torture against the British Government on June 23rd 2009 with five elderly Kenyans, namely Ndiku Mutua, Wambugu Nyingi, Jane Muthoni Mara, Paulo Nzili and Susan Ciong’ombe Ngondi being the lead claimants in NDIKU MUTUA AND FOUR OTHERS – V- COMMONWEALTH OFFICE HQ09X02666.

Out of the 5228 ex-gratia payments, only 87 cases of deceased clients are pending as their various next of kin are following up on succession matters.

To execute the last part of the settlement; the Mau Mau Memorial Steering Committee held a MauMau monument design competition. We got at least five entries from interested designers. The Steering Committee comprises the KHRC, MMWVA, the British High Commission, the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts (through the National Museum) and the Nairobi County Governor’s office.

Experts from the Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity surveyors (BORAQS) offered technical expertise towards analysing the feasibility of all the entries in terms of cost and durability.

The winning bid has been submitted to the Nairobi County for approval before construction.

The Nairobi County have offered a construction site at the freedom corner and will further meet some costs towards construction of path ways leading to the monument.

The ground breaking ceremony will be held in June before the construction begins. The MauMau war Veterans will converge there to acknowledge the memorial.

The unveiling of the monument will be done in October during Mashujaa dayscroll back to top
Last Updated ( Monday, 09 June 2014 20:22 )
 
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