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Monday, 01 Jan 2018 21:04 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
PRESS STATEMENT: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ON THIS 31ST DAY OF DECEMBER 2017THE CIVIL SOCIETY REFERENCE GROUP (CSRG) CALLS ON THE GOVERNMENT TO PRIORITIZE COMMENCEMENT OF THE PUBLIC BENEFIT ORGANIZATIONS ACT IN 2018
As 2017 comes to a close and Kenyans usher in 2018, the Civil Society Reference Group (CSRG) calls on the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government in particular, and the Government in general to prioritize commencement of the Public Benefit Organizations Act in order to foster good working relations between the civil society and the two levels of government in the country as the ruling party pledged ahead of August 2017 General Elections.
On July 7, 2017, the Civil Society Reference Group convened the Third Public Benefit Organizations (PBO) Leaders’ Summit at which the State, aspiring Presidential Candidates and Parties running for the elections committed their candidates and political parties to:
1. Pursue the commencement of the Public Benefit Organizations Act.
2. Refrain from and stay any efforts to amend the Public Benefit Organizations Act
3. Address administrative, regulatory and infrastructural constraints that hinder legitimate actions by the civil society as independent actors in governance and development processes
4. Work towards establishment of an enabling administrative, operational and regulatory environment for civil society organizations in Kenya (see pledges made by the various presidential candidates and parties attached).
The CSRG regrets that more than five years since the law was assented to by then President Mwai Kibaki on January 14, 2013, the Jubilee government under whose tenure its roll-out fell is yet to gazette a commencement of the law. And this is despite the fact that two High Court rulings directing for the commencement of the law have been made: first on October 31, 2016 by Justice Lois Onguto and later by Justice John Mativo on May 12, 2017.
The Public Benefit Organizations Act was enacted to repeal the outdated Non-Governmental Organizations Coordination Act of 1990, in accordance with Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2006 on Government Policy on Non-Governmental Organizations.
Sessional Paper No 1 of 2006 and the Public Benefits Organizations Act envisages a more robust and collaborative framework for the complementary relationship between the national and county governments on the one hand, and civil society organizations working at the two levels. Signed by:
Suba Churchill +254 722 594 938 Presiding Convener Civil Society Reference Group