Police and Kenya Revenue Authorities (KRA)Wednesday raided Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG) offices in Lavington, Nairobi accusing the charitable body of flouting the law, rules and regulations governing its operations and existence.
The raid follows a letter from the government on Tuesday accusing the organisation of not being properly registered.
This comes after the NGOs Coordination Board wrote to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to shut down AfriCOG over claims it is operating illegally. Board executive director Fazul Mohammed said the organisation has not been registered and should be shut down.
He also said its directors and members should be arrested for contravening the NGO provisions. The NGOs board wants the Central Bank of Kenya to freeze accounts and funds associated with AfriCOG until further communication is undersigned.
However, AfriCOG boards of directors have denied the allegations.
Meanwhile,the Law Society of Kenya has termed as illegal the move by the Non Governmental Organization Coordination Board to cancel the licenses of the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and AfriCOG. According to LSK President Isaac Okero the move without following the due process cannot be enforced.
In statement Okero pointed out that Non Governmental Organization Coordination Board did not give the two organizations a 14-day notice period, thus making the pronouncement ineffective, as it has no force of law.
He further indicated that the NGO Coordination Board has no authority over AfriCOG and cannot direct it or its directors to do anything.
Read also: KHRC faults de-registration move
Okero says AfriCOG which is self described as an independent non-profit organization, is registered as a company limited by guarantee under the companies Act (CAP 406. He also described as worthless the advice the executive director of direct Non Governmental Organization Coordination Board Fazul Mohammed gave to the Directorate of Criminal Investigation and Central Bank of Kenya saying he has no authority to do that .
On Tuesday, KHRC faulted the move by the Non-Governmental Organization Co-ordination Board to de-register it over alleged tax evasion saying the move is ill-advised and unfortunate.
KHRC Executive Director, George Kegoro, and Chairperson Maina Kiai say allegations cited by the board of operating illegal bank accounts, employing expatriates fraudulently and failing to account for funds is a witch hunt based on unsubstantiated allegations.
The commission is now reading politics in the drastic move taken by the NGO board to strike it off the records and have its accounts frozen.
By Micheal Njuguna/Asha Mwana Khamisi