7 July 2011.
The UNCAC Coalition today calls on the Kenyan authorities to investigate attempts to intimidate Kenyan activists engaged in a peaceful demonstration related to allegations of misappropriated funds.
On 23 and 29 June, 2011 activists conducting a sit-in protest at the Ministry of Education were attacked by unidentified assailants and splashed with excrement. The UNCAC Coalition has received a disturbing report, photographs, and video footage of intimidation carried out towards young protesters who were conducting the fourth day of their sit-in at Jogoo House over this corruption scandal.
On 4 July 2011 some of the same activists were attacked by a gang of youths who were repulsed by members of the public. When the activists went to report the incident at the nearest police station, the police officers on duty refused to record their complaint until pressure was brought to bear via a public outcry. Since then strangers have walked up to the activists on the street and said “we shall finish you”.
The UNCAC Coalition deplores these efforts at intimidation and calls on the Kenyan authorities to react with appropriate steps including a full investigation of the attacks and appropriate protection to the activists involved in light of the ongoing threats to their safety. The Coalition has learned that two suspected assailants in the incidents in June have been arraigned in court. We welcome these steps to follow up on the attacks and call on the Kenyan authorities to fully investigate all the attacks.
We also urge the Kenyan Government to hear the activists’ call for justice and stronger anti-corruption efforts and in particular, their call for the authorities to conduct a full investigation of the allegations of misappropriated funds and for appropriate officials to be held to account. Such steps are in line with Kenya’s obligations under the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Anti-Corruption Convention as well as with international human rights agreements, including the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
Protesters have been seeking the resignation of the Minister of Education and a transparent, independent investigation into the reported Kenyan Ministry of Finance findings that approximately KES 4.62 billion (about US$ 54.74 million) intended for the Kenyan education sector support programme has been misappropriated in the Kenyan Ministry of Education. The Kenyan Anti-Corruption Commission has called for the resignation of the responsible Minister of Education.
Note to Editors
The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is the most comprehensive global legal framework for combating corruption. It is a binding agreement ratified by 148 states including standards and requirements for preventing, detecting, investigating and sanctioning corruption.
The UNCAC Coalition was formed in 2006 and is composed of over 350 civil society organisations in more than 100 countries. Its goal is to promote the ratification, implementation and monitoring of UNCAC.
Transparency International Kenya
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Transparency International Secretariat
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