JOINT PRESS STATEMENT

HUDUMA NAMBA TO EXCLUDE MILLIONS OF KENYANS AND VIOLATES COURT ORDERS UNDER NEW REGULATIONS

On 19th October 2020, the Nubian Rights Forum, alongside Centre for Minority Rights Development (CEMIRIDE), Haki Centre, Haki na Sheria Initiative, Kenya Human Rights Commission and Defenders Kenya – Coalition held a joint press briefing to issue a press statement on ‘Huduma Namba’ as titled above. Prior to the joint press, the partners have been working to educate communities on Huduma Namba some of whom still remain clueless on what Huduma Namba is about. Perhaps this serves as an indicator of how poorly the project has been coordinated from onset because there is minimal public awareness and public participation. The press statement followed after the Kenyan government through a special issue of the Kenya Gazette on 13TH October 2020 released new rules and regulations yet the issued regulations still do not address the issue of the risks of exclusion in NIIMS, and the regulations also fail to satisfy the court conditions to be fulfilled before the government can move forward with the Huduma Namba.

The Nubian Rights Forum has been very vocal on the Rights of Minority groups, especially communities at Risk of Statelessness. The Nubian community for example, due to the vetting regulations imposed on the community has numerous cases of delayed issuance of Identification cards or lack of vetting due to request for inaccessible documents. The government recently came up with the Huduma Namba that would see a joint card issued to Kenyans, and this card would be prerogative to getting social services. The civil society saw this as a malicious move by the government that would lock out communities that do not have national identification cards – because for one to register they must have identification cards. The process in itself fell short because despite asking for a lot of personal, and sensitive information, there was no data protection act issued. It also did not include steps that would ensure the inclusivity of minority communities and communities at risk of statelessness who did not have identification cards. Despite the government being aware of communities who have not been issued with identification cards, they still began the implementation of the process, and it took a coalition of partners to use litigation means to ensure the government follows due procedure in issues that carry a lot of national weight.

We found this press statement to be very important because we constantly need to remind the government that Kenya is bigger that a few individuals. The primary mandate of any arm of the government is first to represent and actualize the interests of ALL citizens without discrimination on ethnic lines, religion, age and other demographics. The Kenyan government, however, has been extremely notorious for coming up with projects such as the NIIMS program without following all due procedures before implementations. The programs have either lacked public awareness and public participation, regulations and acts, as well as inclusive policies. The press briefing addressed the issues of four main groups of people

  • Kenyans without access to identification documents especially minority communities.
  • Kenyans facing challenges with biometrics
  • Children
  • Stateless persons.

The press statement was issued to multiple media houses, we look forward to actionable and tangible responses from the government that will respond to the risk of exclusion, cases of discrimination and the need for fully inclusive and sustainable policies for all people.

Find the joint press statement herein attached.

https://twitter.com/NubianRights/status/1318102235772047365

 

HUMANITARIAN WORKS

The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion in conjunction with the Nubian Rights Forum recently held their first Humanitarian Food Distribution event for members of the Nubian Community that is at risk of Statelessness on 3rd September 2020. The food distribution program saw at least 20 families receive donations including maize flour, wheat flour, salt, tea bags, soap, milk and cooking oil. The objective of the event was to cushion families that had been affected by COVID-19.
Prior to the event, the Nubian Rights Forum conducted interviews with members of the community to gain insight on awareness levels on citizenship, including registration and processing of birth certificates and National Identity Cards. The paralegals who conducted the interviews noted a lot of gaps in the level of understanding of the community members on the structural understanding of the process of registration. They therefore took the community members through an awareness training. The project also sought to understand the challenges they faced during the COVID-19 period in an attempt to understand the immediate needs of the community during the pandemic.
From the responses collected, there are a lot of challenges that grass root communities are facing that are rarely prioritized or addressed by the government. Families lack adequate food, there is a challenge in accessing basic education during the pandemic as well as healthcare. The communities also have a challenge with water. With such findings, there is a possibility in rectifying the state of living of the community members, to ensure they enjoy their rights with dignity.
It is therefore up to philanthropic individuals and organizations to take up the mandate to ensure that no one faces the risk of food insecurity, lack of access to healthcare, or access to education. There are diverse basic needs that need to be met, and it is all about addressing an area that an individual or an organization can sustainably cover over a period of time.

Radio Talk- Devolution with Omar Hamisi

While a lot of program activities have been put on standby due to government directives on how to manage control the spread of COVID-19, our radio programs have been ongoing and here is a recap of what discussion was covered this previous weekend on Saturday, 18th July 2020. The awareness session was led by our paralegal Omar Hamisi and he covered Devolution.

Devolution is a concept that is familiar amongst most Kenyans following the public transfer and the decentralization or delegation of power from the national tier to a lower level. It entails the delegation of responsibilities to local governments from the central government.

The objectives  of devolution when it was introduced included;

a) to promote democratic and accountable exercise of power;

(b) to foster national unity by recognizing diversity;

(c) to give powers of self-governance to the people and enhance the participation of the people in the exercise of the powers of the State and in making decisions affecting them;

(d) to recognize the right of communities to manage their own affairs and to further their development;

(e) to protect and promote the interests and rights of minorities and marginalized communities;

(f) to promote social and economic development and the provision of proximate, easily accessible services throughout Kenya;

(g) to ensure equitable sharing of national and local resources throughout Kenya;

(h) to facilitate the decentralization of State organs, their functions and services, from the capital of Kenya; and

(i) to enhance checks and balances and the separation of powers.

Decentralization aimed at ensuring that power and responsibility factored the different needs of different geographical areas to ensure all persons in different communities and with different demographics are well catered for and have access to adequate social services, well within their reach.

 

DONATING TO OUR DRIVE FOR COVID-19 AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

https://gogetfunding.com/appeal-to-increase-awareness-on-covid-19-in-kibera/

To our esteemed subscribers

Hello, we received complains about a clear direction for making donations through pay pal . Below is a step by step on how to donate using paypal
step one- Log into the link listed above
step two- click on the title and you will be directed to the main page
step three- locate the donate now icon (It is orange in colour)
alternatively, on the lower part of the page, you will find an icon for ‘Check out or donate with Pay Pal
Step four- On the locate now icon, you will be given two options paypal or credit card. Fill in the details then proceed to donate

For those using paypal, kindly log into paypal through the gogetfunding link shared. Thank you.

Please reach out to us in case you have any questions or concerns.

 

Note-

The campaign above is meant to

  • Increase awareness of COVID-19 in the community
  • Educate people as an way of reducing stigmatization against families affected by COVID-19
  • Provide preventive equipment for families in the community.
  • Provide food, and sanitary equipments for families in the community that are struggling to provide for themselves

DEMOLITIONS IN INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS

COVID-19 AND THE DEMOLITIONS AT RUAI AND KARIOBANGI

https://twitter.com/NubianRights/status/1262306829662588928…

The conduct of the state during the COVID-19 Pandemic shows the level of consideration the government has for its citizens. While people are fighting challenges such as hunger, insecurity and unaffordable lifestyles, residents in Kariobangi and Ruai in Kenya woke up to new challenges that now threaten the livelihood of residents; including women and children.

With the on going Pandemic, a new challenge hitting a majority citizens is the ongoing demolitions that are happening during night time because of alleged illegal construction on disputed pieces of land. All demolitions have happened during the night.
Currently, the affected areas are Ruai and Kariobangi. The demolished houses in Ruai are alleged to be on a 3000 acre piece of land that is meant for the expansion of the Dandora Sewerage Treatment Plant. At least 200 families have been left homeless. Demolitions in Kariobangi left around 5000 families homeless. Majority of those left homeless say they received no prior notice before the evictions.
While the state may justify the need for the demolitions, the action is wrong because prior ruling from the courts had instructed all parties to maintain status quo until the final determination of the case. The respondents ignoring the court ruling and carrying out the demolitions are in contempt. Upholding of the law in Kenya by the state has always been an issue of concern because most of rulings given to the state by the courts are rarely adhered to- these demolitions being a practical example.
Constitutionally, the government has a responsibility to its citizens to provide for them during these trying times but unfortunately this is not the case. Those approving demolitions of residents during this period should have a strategy that provides for the well being of the people. The risks of demolitions exposes children to cold, exposes individuals to potential COVID-19 infected persons and risks losing lives due to many unavoidable factors.

With restricted movement directives issued by the government, it is impossible for the residents left homeless to opt to go back home. Instead they are stranded in a critical state that exposes them to COVID-19, hunger and insecurity. The actions of departments of the state show the lack of proper planning between the different departments in the government to cater for demolitions and at the same time execute safe evacuations of residents to temporary safe sites. It also shows the level of disrespect of the state for the law and the courts at large.

Join our tweet chat today at 13:00 hours as we discuss the state of the evicted citizens and find a way forward.

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