NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 13 – The Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Council has joined President Uhuru Kenyatta in condemning foreign funded entities taking part in activities geared towards influencing the 2017 polls.
Speaking during a press conference on Tuesday, NGOs Council’s National Chairperson Stephen Cheboi noted with concern the manner in which some NGOs have deviated from the mandate for which they were registered, saying such actions portray a negative image of the organisations.
“Some donors are giving money to support suspicious activities in the name of civic education,” he said accompanied by regional directors from across the nation including Nairobi’s Marcos Obita Morumbwa.
According to Cheboi, most NGOs have taken advantage of their autonomy to dupe Kenyans who deserve support from donor monies given the weak regulatory frameworks to crack down on them.
“We take this opportunity to call on donor communities to ensure they’re transparent in their funding to ensure that all Kenyans get their support without any discrimination.”
The Council lamented over what it termed as “gate keeping” by some NGOs who have mastered the art of securing funding from foreign donors despite being notorious for failure to implement the projects they pitched funding for.
This, the Council says has deprived deserving Kenyans of the much needed help they could have gotten from the volumes of monies being pumped to NGOs.
“Some of them have become gate keepers of donor money,” Cheboi said. “You receive the money; it does not go to the intended purposes.”
“Most of the money is spent on activities that do not benefit local citizens yet when the money was given it was given so that it can help change lives of people.”
The Council however conceded to the fact that it had failed to check on flaws by members of its confederation despite having a regulatory arm that ought to address such issues arising from members of its ranks.
“It is true,” Cheboi said in response to a question from Capital FM News. “We can admit we have had our own challenges but those challenges will be sorted out moving forward.”
The Council however called on the NGOs Co-Ordination Board to take decisive action on organizations contravening the law to tame bad governance within the organisations.
According to section 24 of the NGOs Regulations 1992 formulated within provisions of the Non-Governmental Organization Co-ordination Act, 1990, each NGO is expected to submit annual returns three months after the end of their financial year – a requirement – that most NGOs are yet to comply with.
The regulations also require the NGOs to submit to the NGOs Co-Ordination Board audited accounts for organisations with a budget exceeding Sh1 million.
The Council called upon Kenyans to resist attempts by foreign funded organizations to influence the leaders they vote urging them to elect saying Kenyans must be given freedom to exercise their constitutional right of choosing the leaders they want.
“As Kenyans we know where we are and where we need to go,” said Marcos Obita, the Council’s regional director for Nairobi.
The sentiments by the Council are coming just a day after President Kenyatta told off NGOs seeking to interfere with the next year’s election outcome through offering skewed civic education.