, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 16 – Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho has asked government ministries, relevant departments, KHRC and AfriCOG to nominate individuals to sit on a multi-agency committee that will review the status of two NGOs.
Kibicho, who was mandated by CS Fred Matiangi to spearhead a probe into compliance by the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and the Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG), has called the first meeting for Friday.
“To facilitate commencement and fast tracking of this review, representatives from KHRC and AfriCOG should bring along with them the following documents: registration certificate, list of current board directors or trustees, valid tax compliance issued by the Kenya Revenue Authority,’ Kibicho says in a letter dated August 16, 2017.
Other documents sought are details of bank accounts, list of all donors for the last three years, details of all funds received and the purpose of the funding, list of projects carried out in the last three years, all staff list with details of ID numbers and positions held.
They will also be required to supply names, designations and copies of valid work permits for all expertise working in the institutions, details of collaboration held with other organisations and list of counties of operations.
Before Kibicho’s action, Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi suspended the punitive steps initiated by the Non-Governmental Coordination Board against two human rights lobbies, pending the probe into compliance concerns.
Matiangi instructed the Executive Director of the NGO Coordination Board Fazul Mahamed to put off further action against the two organisations for 90 days.
The suspension, according to a letter seen by Capital FM News, will allow Kibicho’s to look into compliance concerns by the two lobby groups.
“My view is that before conclusive and final action such as deregistration, comprehensive and exhaustive engagement needs to happen,” Matiangi said in the letter.
Following the crackdown by the NGO Board, police and Kenya Revenue Authority officials on Wednesday launched raid on the Africa Centre for Open Governance offices in Lavington before it was called off after the new directive.
The NGO Coordination Board came into the spotlight on Monday after it deregistered the Makau Mutua-chaired Kenya Human Rights Commission for alleged tax evasion, an act which drew wide condemnation from other Civil Society Organisations.
Mahamed, in a notice to the NGO, stated they owe Sh100 million in statutory taxes and advised the Central Bank of Kenya to freeze their accounts.
Mahamed also accused KHRC of making false declarations on its annual returns making it difficult to ascertain if Sh1.2 billion it received was used for the intended purpose.
On Tuesday, the Board also wrote to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to immediately shut down the African Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG) and arrest its directors for allegedly contravening stipulated laws.
AfriCOG is chaired by John Githongo and board members include Maina Kiai and Gladwell Otieno.
The Mahamed-led Board in May and August also deregistered the Kalonzo Musyoka’s Foundation and a charitable foundation linked to Rosemary Odinga, daughter of Opposition leader Raila Odinga.