NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 22 – As the Nigerians, South Africans and CNN would probably tell you, Kenyans on Twitter are not so forgiving of perceived slights and before long you’ll not only have a hashtag created in your honour, but it’ll likely be trending.
A few weeks back the target was on the back of Non-Governmental Organisations who pay foreign workers, exorbitantly, to do jobs that can be filled locally and the African Population and Health Research Centre-Kenya, if a complaint to the NGO Co-ordination Board were to be believed, fits in that category.
And in a play out of the adage ‘when it rains it pours’, that isn’t the only hurdle the NGO – that together with 900 others was threatened was de-registration in October last year – has to overcome.
In April this year, the NGO Co-ordination Board wrote to the Director General of the National Intelligence Service asking that the NGO’s parent company African Population and Health Research Centre, whose Chairman is also the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Philip Kinisu, be investigated for, “possible money laundering, diversion of donor aid and regulatory mischief.”
In an earlier letter to APHRC in December, the NGO Co-ordination Board had identified several anomalies that it needed to address in order to avoid de-registration, among them, “double registrations as both company limited and also as non-governmental,” and, “you have employed in your organisation an expatriate without obtaining from the Board the requisite work permit.”
In an internal memo, a month earlier, the Board identified a number of other ‘red flags’ which it said were brought to their attention by members of the APHRC staff: “Unfair labour practices favouring foreigners, false clean external audits, exaggerated Executive Directors salary and benefits (Sh2.34 million) and appointment of friends to leadership positions.”
All of which, APHRC Executive Director Alex Ezeh told Capital FM News in an exclusive interview on Thursday, could be put down to a series of misunderstandings.
First of all, he said, there was no question of double registration; APHRC and APHRC-Kenya being separate legal entities.
“APHRC-Kenya does not have double registration,” he explained in a letter of reply to the NGO Co-ordination Board in December 2015. “As noted in the registration documents, it is affiliated to APHRC Incorporated which registered in Kenya under the Companies Act as a branch of APHRC Inc. and organisation incorporated the laws of the state of Delaware, USA.”
That misunderstanding, Ezeh said, was at the root of the eyebrows raised at the NGO Co-ordination Board when they filed their returns.
“We note that in 2006 you had assets valued at USD100,608. However, your current returns do not reflect any assets. Please explain the anomaly,” a 2010 letter to APHRC reads.