Police, KRA raid on vocal NGO offices aborts

Police, KRA raid on vocal NGO offices aborts
Board members of the AfriCOG when police and KRA officers raided its offices on Wednesday, August16 2017.

The Kenya Police together with Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officers have raided Africa Center for Open Governance (AfriCOG) offices in Lavington, Nairobi.

However, AfriCOG Vice chairperson, Maina Kiai, has strongly condemned the action, again reading mischief as to why the government wants to shut down the body.

AfriCOG Lawyer, Harun Ndubi, and Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) Executive Director, George Kegoro, have also condemned the raid, terming it ill-motivated and meant to intimidate NGOs that are critical of the government further discrediting the authenticity of the search warrant provided by the police.

“We will not allow them to search the premises because the search warrant they are issuing to us is not authentic and does not count,” said Mr. Ndubi.

On Tuesday, August 15, the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Co-ordination Board had written to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) seeking to de-register AfriCOG, alleging that it is ‘operating illegally’.

In a letter addressed to the DCI boss, Ndegwa Muhoro, the NGO board said that it has come to its attention AFRICOG operates without registration, contrary to Section 22(1) of the NGOs Co-ordination Act 1990.

Additionally, the NGO’s watchdog said AfriCOG has gone against Section 22(1) CAP 134 Laws of Kenya which states that it shall be an offense for any person to operate a non-governmental organization in Kenya for welfare, research, health relief, agriculture, education, industry, the supply of any other similar purpose without registration and certificate under this act.

It had ordered for the arrest of AfriCOG directors for contravening laid provisions, intending to prosecute them in a court of law.

On Monday, August 14, the NGO watchdog was able to deregistered KHRC for allegedly operating illegal bank accounts, failure to account for donor funds and illegal employment of expatriates, something the commission has come out to refute strongly as baseless and malicious.

In a turn of events, police and the KRA team has decided to call-off the raid, to have the search orders amended properly.

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Story By Majanga Michael
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