KNCHR urges Uhuru to address historical injustices

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By BRIAN MOSETI
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Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to fulfill two promises made to Kenyans two years ago.

While giving an address on the state of human rights in the Kenya, the chairperson of the commission Mrs Kagwiria Mbogori said the President had promised to set aside Sh10 billion to go toward resolving historical injustices in the country.

“To date the fund is yet to be operationalized and this hiatus implementation is at the expense of thousands of survivors and victims who continue to suffer immense neglect and indeed feel traumatised,” she said.

She said during 2015’s State of the Nation address, the President had also promised that he would push for Parliament to discuss the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report, which a lot of human rights activists have advocated for to be debated.

“Our Commission believes that failure to adopt the recommendations in the TJRC report continues to contribute towards the current wave of violence, insecurity and polarisation, and may persist as long as historical injustices remain unaddressed,” she said.

She further noted that since Parliament refused to adopt a framework to implement the gender rule, it will create serious concerns after elections.

“It is important to note that there are serious possibilities of a constitutional crisis post 2017 elections if the framework is not initiated,” she said.

Other areas the government needs to work on that are related to human rights but which have had many cases reported to the commission include, arbitrary arrests, extortion, illegal detention, torture, killings and disappearances.

Corruption and failure to protect media freedom and their rights was also mentioned.

But she said Kenya has made strides in some areas including putting in place legislation, policies and signing international treaties which if implemented, will see it as one of the top countries on the continent to do so.

“In instances where the various Treaty Body Mechanisms have reviewed our country, Kenya has received numerous recommendations aimed at improving the human rights situation on the ground,” Mrs Mbogori said.

The State was also commended on the actions it has taken in the areas of, older persons cash transfer, the cash transfer for orphans and vulnerable children, the hunger safety net program, the urban food subsidy cash transfer and the persons with severe disability cash transfer.

“These cash transfer programmes initiated by the government continue to reach the most vulnerable members of the society and to this end the commission urges for the expansion of this such so that more persons in need are able to access their benefits,” she said.

Further she noted that the Attorney General and the commission are working together to develop a national action plan on businesses and human rights which have implications on rights to health, education, water, food and employment.

“Indeed when completed, Kenya will be the first African country to have such an action plan in place,” she said.


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