Do you mind if we paraphrase Abba’s 1976 song, “Money, Money, Money”, and sing “Elections, Elections, Elections,” because that’s all the country focused on in August! We hope you are well and took a moment to rest as we did during the week of August 8th
In this issue
- Reflections on Uchaguzi 2022
- Elections Room
- Nairobi Members Meeting
- Human Rights Clubs Meeting
- International Day of Enforced Disappearances
- Towards Section Recognition
Reflections on Uchaguzi 2022
We congratulate all those who won elective seats. For the first time, seven county governments in Kenya will be governed by women, up from three in 2017. In addition, at least 74 women were elected as Members of the National Assembly. These are great strides in the continued quest for gender equality in political representation. We were incredibly impressed by many candidates who gracefully conceded defeat and pledged to work with the winners. Such efforts go a long way in displaying leadership and fostering cohesion after the competition.
The announcement of presidential results, though, did little to calm nerves. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was split over the outcome, with four of the seven electoral commissioners distancing themselves from the results due to the “opaque nature” of the final tally. The scuffles in the auditorium and pockets of violence witnessed in parts of the country were unfortunate events. Swift response by the police and faith in the Supreme Court helped restore order. Eight petitions were filed at the Supreme Court registry at Milimani Law Courts, indicating the trust embedded in this institution. READ MORE
While we remained neutral observers throughout the electioneering period, we responded to a number of political events, notably:
The rise in disinformation and misinformation
Several posts by KENYA KWANZA and AZIMIO candidates and their supporters misinformed the electorate and the public on the electoral process and the election results. These include distortion, false information shared without malicious intent (misinformation) and those shared to deceive people (disinformation) deliberately). READ MORE
Incidents of violence at polling and tallying stations:
We were deeply concerned by the sporadic acts of violence witnessed across the country after the polls closed. While the voting exercise was relatively peaceful, we were ill at ease by the targeted assault on female and male voters, election observers, political candidates, and their supporters and intimidation of election monitors. READ MORE
We called for peace and calm:
We reminded the nation that a protracted contentious post-election period would increase social tension and trigger violence and displacement if left unchecked. It will overturn the gains made this far in reconciling and creating a cohesive nation. It will also reverse post-COVID economic recovery and reduce investor confidence. READ MORE
Intimidation and Murder of IEBC officials:
We were greatly concerned with rising reports of intimidation, ethnic profiling, and disappearances of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Commissioners and staff. We further condemned the torture and murder of Embakasi East Returning Officer Daniel Mbolu Musyoka. READ MORE
Nairobi Members Meeting
We held consultative meetings with 50 members and supporters in Nairobi to discuss the establishment of Circles of Conscience (CoCs) in different sub-counties in Nairobi and to understand better how to engage them best.
We also got to share the work our Nairobi CoC is currently undertaking and how they can plug in and even start their issue-based Circle of Conscience. The participants encouraged us to engage more with communities living in informal settlements. As always, we remain in awe of the phenomenal work and energy our members bring to the movement! We can’t wait to see all the incredible things they do to create a world where all enjoy human rights.
Are you interested in joining a Circle of Conscience? Reach out to us, and we can put you in touch with the appropriate teams.
Human Rights Clubs and Patrons Visit
We are overwhelmed by the success of our human rights education program in Homabay, Kericho and Kisumu Counties. We visited Amnesty clubs in 12 schools including Oridi Girls, Ngedia High School, Danis Obara Secondary, Godber Boys, Kabianga School, Koru Girls, Karanda Secondary, and Kisumu Day… the list is breathtaking.
We were impressed by how the clubs have helped the students grow bold, expressive and responsible. The students are not just aware of their rights and responsibilities, but they are challenging fellow students and duty-bearers to participate in all aspects of human rights both within and outside their schools. The students are taking action together, planting trees, cleaning their school compounds, donating sanitary pads to needy students, and some have established school fee kitties for fellow students. Our school clubs continue to nurture students who offer solutions to the societal challenges they face.
The good news is, these clubs are not exclusive to some regions. We can support you in establishing one in your school. Write to us through [email protected].
International Day of Enforced Disappearances
We wrapped up the month by joining our partners in the Missing Voices coalition in marking the International Day for Victims of Enforced Disappearances on August 30th, 2022. We held a community dialogue at the Kayole II Community Center in Kayole. Representatives from the National Police Service (NPS), Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP), and the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU), among others, engaged the community on all matters pertaining to enforced disappearances. We also had a help desk on sight to offer legal aid and psychosocial support to the Kayole community, victims and survivors of enforced disappearances.
Here are some important statistics to note:
- 145 people in Kenya were killed or disappeared in 2019, 168 in 2020, 219 in 2021, and 75 so far in 2022.
- At least 275 people have disappeared in Kenya since 2007. Men are more likely to be disappeared and/or be killed. Only 28 cases have court prosecution procedures against them.
- 69% of the cases were reported during “anti-crime” operations by the police.
- 30% of the cases happened during “anti-terror” operations.
Join us in welcoming the Missing Voices Coalition’s new Coordinator, Alexander Mbela. Alexander is the Missing Voices focal person in charge of managing relationships with communities, victims of police abuses, artists, human rights defenders, colleagues and partners within the Missing Voices coalition. Karibu to the team, Alex.
Towards Section Recognition
Our path to section recognition intentionally started in 2015 with the approval of a new Strategic Framework (2018-2020), management expansion and appointment of a statutory board. Since then, we have revamped our constitution and governance manual, diversified our budgetary dependence from 97% to 63%, expanded membership from 256 members to over 2,000 members and 21,000 supporters and established 65 locally owned members Circles of Conscience in schools, universities, and communities nation-wide.
Under the Amnesty Kenya constitution and governance manual, we are required to appoint six voluntary leadership positions from our membership. To be eligible, you must be a current member of Amnesty Kenya. The six voluntary positions are:
- 2022 Annual Delegates Conference Chairperson (1)
- 2022 Annual Delegates Conference Committee Members (2)
- 2022 Nominations Committee (3)
Equality and diversity are Amnesty’s core values. We welcome and encourage candidates from all backgrounds, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, physical ability, faith or other elements of identity or educational and social backgrounds, to apply. READ MORE
We encourage you to consider applying and sharing this with other Amnesty Kenya members. Current Board members and staff are not eligible for nomination to these six positions. This call for nominations closes at 5 pm, 15 September 2022.
- Amnesty at 10 celebrations – 18th October
- Annual Delegates Conference – 28th-29th October