NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 23 – The Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government has restated its commitment to human rights advisories from the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR).
Speaking on behalf of Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi during the launch of the commission’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, Chief Administrative Secretary Patrick Ole Ntutu welcomed proposals from the rights agency on how to better discharge the ministry’s mandate.
“We’ll remain open to ideas and legal advisories on how we could improve our human rights record. We urge KNCHR to approach us with corrective and not just condemning advisories,” he said during the launch on Thursday.
“We’re open to receiving policy proposals on how to better execute our mandate in accordance with the Constitution,” he added.
Ntutu also announced plans to gazette the commencement of the Public Benefits Organization Act (PBOA) which has been in pendending for a prolonged period.
“This week we’ve met with the Non-Governmental Organizations Coordination Board and agreed strict deadlines of preparing for this transition,” the CAS said.
He noted issues that needed to be ironed out in the PBOA particularly in the Third and Fifth Schedule of the Act saying the grey areas will be addressed to enable a smooth transition.
In a new spirit of reconciliation, Ntutu said the ministry will seek legal advice from the Office of the Attorney General in order to resolve the huge number of legal battles it has with non-governmental organizations some of which stem from the involvement of the non-profit agencies in last year’s presidential election.
“We’ll soon seek legal advice on how to proceed in these cases. Some of these cases need to be independently verified by the Director of Public Prosecutions with a view of expediting them, having the cases resolved through alternative means or even being terminated all together,” he assured.
Speaking at the launch, KNCHR Chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori welcomed the pledge for partnership from the interior ministry.
She further expressed the commission’s committed to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda saying she was confident the plan will address socioeconomic rights of minority groups.
Mbogori said KNCHR was keen on the attainment of equitable sharing of resources though wealth creation.
“The commission’s new strategic plan takes cognizance of the Big Four agenda that is set to address the socioeconomic rights of Kenyans in line with the Bill of Rights as provided by the Constitution,” she said.
“We’re ready to play an oversight role to ensure this government’s noble initiative comes to fruition,” she committed.
Mbogori noted efforts made by the government in addressing inclusiveness and minority rights while undertaking to continue championing for the same.
“The commission acknowledges government efforts to provide opportunities for rights of minorities and marginalized communities through equitable sharing of resources,” she said.
The KNCHR Chairperson said the commission will focus on “how human rights, laws, and principles can address inequalities and injustices in the nation so as to promote inclusiveness and the respect for diversity.”
During the launch the commission also adopted a new slogan “Human rights for all, all the time” even as it unveiled a revamped website – www.knchr.org.