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LSK says de-listing of human rights lobbies illegal

LSK President Isaac Okero stated that the action without due process is illegal and cannot be enforced/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 16 – The Law Society of Kenya now says that the move by the Non Governmental Organisation Coordination Board to cancel the licenses of the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and the African Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG) is illegal.

In a statement, LSK President Isaac Okero stated that the action without due process is illegal and cannot be enforced.

He pointed out that a 14-day notice period was not given, thus making the pronouncement ineffective, as it has no force of law.

“The purported cancellation of KHRC’s certificate by Mr Fazul’s notice of 14th August 2017 without due process and without stipulating a 14-day period is an ineffectual pronouncement that has no effect whatsoever,” he stated.

He further indicated that the NGO Coordination Board has no authority over AfriCOG and cannot direct it or its directors to do anything, thus its request to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Central Bank are insignificant.

“As concerns AfriCOG which is self described as an independent non-profit organization, it is registered as a company limited by guarantee under the companies Act (CAP 406),”he said.

“Mr Fazul therefore exercises no authority over AfriCOG. He cannot direct AfriCOG or its directors to do anything and his request and advise to the Directorate of Criminal Investigation and Central Bank of Kenya respectively are worthless.”

Just hours after KHRC was deregistered, the Co-ordination Board’s Executive Director Fazul Mahamed wrote to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations urging that it shut down the operations of AfriCOG and arrest its board of directors of which Maina Kiai is one.

In a letter to the rights group on Monday, Mahamed said the agency has opened four illegal accounts.

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He said two of these are at NIC bank and the others at Commercial Bank of Africa.

The civil society organisation, one of the oldest in Kenya, was anticipated could file a petition against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s August 8 poll victory.

The board boss further said KHRC has failed to pay Kenya Revenue Authority statutory taxes amounting to Sh100 million.

Mahamed also said the rights group has been employing foreigners without following due process for them to be in the country legally.

He added the organisation has been making illegal payments to board members.

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