KHRC takes NGO board to court over deregistration directive

The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) executive director George Kegoro. FILE PHOTO | NMG
The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) executive director George Kegoro. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) Monday took its fight with NGO Coordination Board’s Fazul Mahamed to court.

Through lawyer Nzamba Kitonga, KHRC challenged the August 14 directive to strike out its certificate of registration while arguing that it was never given a notice before the action was taken.

According to the lobby, its image is bound to suffer since it has been maliciously accused of tax evasion, money laundering, misappropriation as well as embezzlement and diversion of donor funds.

“As the leading human rights organisation in the country, KHRC maintains the highest levels of financial and operational integrity, the same it demands of the public authorities which it seeks to keep accountable,” said Mr Kitonga.

He termed the directive arbitrary and unlawful, adding that it greatly violates KHRC’s right to fair administrative action.

He claimed that KHRC has complied with the law and the directive poses a grave risk to its operations.

“The executive director of the NGO Coordination Board in an act of vile abuse of office and sheer impunity has purported to direct the collection of taxes, the freezing of bank accounts and the deportation of persons,” said KHRC’s George Kegoro.

Mr Kegoro added: “the conduct is a negation of the rule of law, the principles of natural justice and a clear violation of the letter and spirit of the Constitution.”

In the case documents, the lobby said it was wrongly accused of opening and operating four illegal bank accounts, failing to pay Sh100 million taxes, employing expatriates without valid work permits and making false declarations in its annual returns.

The lobby further argued that the deregistration directive was aimed at scandalising them and that it is not the first time the board has acted in this manner against them.