Home NEWS Local News Kenya Civil Society groups troubled by unfolding events

Kenya Civil Society groups troubled by unfolding events

Kenya’s Civil Society group now says it is  troubled by the unfolding events in the country.

Addressing the media Sunday, seven leading organisations under the banner Uchaguzi Platform said they were appalled by the alarming incidents witnessed recently where some peaceful protesters, exercising their democratic right to picket, were met with unnecessary force and arbitrary and unlawful arrests by the National Police Service.

Channel 1

Although respect for fundamental human rights should be upheld, the civil society groups chided members of the public for engaging in acts of lawlessness whereas the organisers of the protests remaining silent on the same.

“We acknowledge that whereas the right to protest is codified in the law, it has a corresponding duty that it be exercised in a peaceful manner. We, therefore, wish to call upon members of the public who are exercising their constitutional right to demonstrate to do so peacefully and within the confines of the law. We also wish to invite the organizers of the demonstrations to make public pronouncements calling on their supporters to refrain from destruction of property and causing disruption to livelihoods and businesses of their fellow Kenyans” they stated.


They went on to call for a political truce between President William Ruto and Opposition leader Raila Odinga as they highlighted six pertinent issues of concern that should be addressed among them the high cost of living which they said can be tackled by repealing the Finance Act 2023, reconstitution of IEBC and failed bipartisan talks.

“Processes of by-elections (for Magarini, Lagdara, and Banisa) and boundary delimitation have been put on hold and if this process drags longer, the country risks running into a  constitutional crisis,” they said.

The NGOs are further calling for National Inclusive Dialogue and the Revival of Multi-Sectoral Talks to find a long-lasting solution to the political situation in the country.

“We call for an immediate revival of the Bipartisan talks and emphasize the importance of making it a multi-sectoral representation. The bipartisan talks gave Kenyans a glimmer of hope as it created a golden opportunity for issues affecting Kenyans to be deliberated and addressed. We reiterate the importance of the talks and the need for our leaders to exercise patience, soberness, and selflessness needed to resume and see through the talks” they said.

“Part of the reason of unending and protracted electoral-related disputes including violence is out of the ‘winner take it all’ inherent in this system. There is a need therefore for a system that is inclusive and promotes inter and intra-political party democracy” they pointed out.

They also took issue with the alleged conduct of public officers whom they said are required to uphold high levels of ethics and integrity in their functions.

“We have noted with concern the degenerating conduct of some of the leaders who use reckless language that may incite violence and chaos, and others assaulting members of the public. We wish to remind public officers of their oath to public office which requires them to be faithful to the Constitution and the rule of law, and the Code of Corporate Governance for State Corporations (Mwongozo Code) which they ascribed to and requires them to uphold high levels of ethics and integrity in their functions” they noted.

The media was in the spotlight too over alleged increased cases of disinformation, misinformation, and hate speech through social media platforms and some vernacular stations.

They however emphasized the importance of media freedom in a democratic society.

“Journalists play a critical role in providing unbiased information to the public, and we call upon all parties to respect media freedom. An environment where journalists can report without fear of reprisal is essential for an informed citizenry and a thriving democracy”.

The joint statement was by Transparency International Kenya (TI-Kenya), Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD-K), Elections Observation Group (ELOG), Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Kenya), Constitution and Reform EducationConsortium (CRECO), Mzalendo Trust, and Electoral Law and Governance Institute for Africa (ELGIA).


Website | + posts