Human rights NGO deregistered in Sh1.2bn feud

Mr Fazul Mohamed, the NGO board executive director. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Mr Fazul Mahamed, the NGO board executive director. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The NGOs Coordination Board has de-registered the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) for alleged tax evasion, illegal bank accounts and illegal hiring of expatriates.

The board’s executive director, Fazul Mohamed, said on Monday the rights group was operating four illegal bank accounts— two at NIC bank #ticker:NIC and two others at the CBA.

“Your organisation has failed, declined or refused to pay statutory taxes to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) amounting to Sh100 million as provided for under schedule 10 of the Income Tax Act,” Mr Mohamed writes in his letter to KHRC chairman Makau Mutua.

In the letter dated August 14, 2017, Mr Mohamed further accuses the commission of employing expatriates without valid work permits and asked for their deportation.

KHRC was registered in 1994. It was founded by five Kenyans while in exile — Prof Mutua, Maina Kiai, Willy Mutunga, Kiraitu Murungi and Peter Kareithi.

It has been vocal on issues of gender equality, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detention, democracy, human dignity and social justice.

But Mr Mohamed accuses the NGO of making false declaration on its annual returns and failing to disclose directors’ pay.

He also accused the board of paying its directors hefty fees in breach of its constitution.

Its directors are Betty Murungi, Muthoki Wanyeki, Godwin Murunga, Davinder Lamba, and George Kegoro is the executive director.

The board was doubtful about the KHRC’s spending of Sh1.2 billion. It asked the Central Bank to freeze the group’s accounts.

Mr Kegoro said the allegations were false and that there had been a court order asking the board to stop “arbitrary treatment of the commission”.

“We have on several occasions actually asked the Board’s board to meet us and discuss whatever issues they may have, but they always come up with excuses,” he said.