25th April 2018
Amnesty International expresses our deepest condolences and admiration to the family of the late Kenneth Njindo Matiba. “Amnesty considers him to be a courageous man who will be forever known as one of the Kenyans who wrestled us from the tyranny of one man, one party rule and gross human rights violations. A State public apology and reparation for political prisoners at this time would be critical to deepening democracy and reconciliation,” says Irũngũ Houghton, Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director.
In celebrating the significant role he played in the realization of our expanded constitutional rights and freedoms, we urge the Kenyan Government to comply with the determination of Justice Isaac Lenaola and pay damages to his widow Edith Matiba for his illegal detention.
The Kenyan Government must go further to ensure that all former Prisoners of Conscience (PoCs) and their families have effective access to restitution, compensation and rehabilitation and other forms of support to enable them to resume a normal life.
Many Prisoners of Conscience were injured or died from torture and the brutality meted out during unlawful detention. Others still languish in poverty. The death of Kenneth Matiba offers renewed opportunities in formulating an effective reparation process that ensures justice and redress for prisoners of conscience.
“The 2015 Presidential State of the Nation address called for the swift adoption of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Report by Parliament as required by law and the establishment of a Kshs 10 billion Restorative Justice Fund. As we bid farewell to Kenneth Matiba, neither promise has been kept. We call for the Kenyan government to move quickly to reparations,” says Irungu Houghton, Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director.
The Kenyan Government, civic organisations and citizens can best honor the memory of the late Matiba by publicly rededicating themselves to never again allowing Kenya to return to the darkness of the 1980s and 1990s.
In March 2015, President Uhuru Kenyatta followed the TJRC recommendations and announced a 10 Billion Kenya Shillings fund to be used for restorative justice. It is yet to be implemented in 2018.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please call Amnesty International Kenya’s press office in Nairobi on +254 20 4283020 or +254 726 771752