, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 30 – The Civil Society Organisations (CSO) Reference Group has welcomed the policy decision by Devolution Secretary Anne Waiguru to overrule the NGO Coordination Board.
The NGO Coordination Board had issued a 14-day notice to over 900 Non-Governmental Organisations to regularize their accounts or face de-registration.
The Kenya Human Rights Commission Deputy Executive Director Davis Malombe, whose organisation is accused of operating four illegal accounts and filing false reports, says they intend to take a legal measure.
“The Cabinet Secretary interrupted what was about to be a colossal policy mistake. The Bureau was in the process of de-registering 10 percent of a 40-year-old sector based on factual errors and unsubstantiated allegations,” he stated.
“Many of 957 organisations were not given an opportunity to clarify the audit questions before they saw them in the mass media.”
The NGO Coordination board had already de-registered some NGOs and forwarded the list to the Central Bank of Kenya and the Kenya Bankers Association to freeze their accounts.
CSO Executive Director Njeri Kababeri said the NGO Coordination board has failed in its primary mandate, “to facilitate and co-ordinate the work of all national and international Non-Governmental Organisations operating in Kenya.”
The organisations termed the accusations by the NGO Coordination board as malicious and meant to weaken the sector saying they were not given opportunity to answer the questions raised.
African Council of Religious leaders Secretary General Francis Kagema also accused the board of violating the principles of natural justice, the right to reply and fair administrative justice.
Some of 957 NGOs facing deregistration include The Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation, Anti-drug International Organisation, Awareness and Support Organisation, Bahati Centre, Eco-Hub Organisation among others.
The former Vice President however says his foundation has operated above board over the years while urging Kenyans to ignore what he termed as baseless pronouncements being peddled about it.
He says the Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation has been able to educate over 2000 students over the years and has diligently accounted for any assistance it has received from friends across the globe and promised that the trend of accountability will be maintained.
The Wiper Leader further urged the NGO council not to muscle the civil society which has been the eye and ear of the public.
The NGOs were also to be deregistered for allegedly failing to account for Sh23 billion out of Sh140 billion received from donors.