Kenya cracks down on presidential poll critics

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

From MARIA MACHARIA
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – KENYA has been urged to respect the rights of civil
societies and stop interfering with their operations amid a disputed
election.
The crackdown is seen as part of a wider repression of civil society in
the East African country in recent years.
This was after non-governmental organisations board cracked down on rights
groups critical of the vote in which incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta
was once again proclaimed the winner.
He was elected ahead of opposition leader, Raila Odinga, who boycotted the
poll.
“Instead of harassing these organizations, they should respect their
rights and their role in meaningful dialogue ” Abdullahi Abdi, Human
Rights Watch  (HRW) regional spokesperson, said.
In recent days, the Kenya Non-Governmental Organizations Co-ordination
Board, the regulatory authority for nongovernmental groups, summoned three
civil society organizations to respond to allegations of money laundering
and employing foreigners without valid work permits, among other reasons.
An election campaign initiative by a coalition of civil society groups and
a citizen’s alliance that focuses on good governance are also alleged to
be operating illegal bank accounts and funding political operations in
Kenya.
The charges are said to be trumped up as a campaign to silence critics of
the repressive government.
CAJ News

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