In light of Ivy Wangechi’s murder and in solidarity with all the victims of femicide in Kenya, we wish to state the following;
Our condolences go out to the families, friends and all those who knew Ivy Wangechi. Her killing comes at a time when Kenya is grappling with high prevalence of cases of femicide perpetrated by men; such must never be tolerated in the society. The Bill of Rights protects human life and no reason whatsoever justifies the wanton killings targeting women witnessed across counties.
The normalization of violence by Kenyans on social media and other public spaces is a dehumanization of the victims and is insensitive to their legacy and the trauma of those affected; family, friends and by extension, the women of Kenya. Further, it creates a culture of victim shaming and blaming which permits violence to thrive. Love is not equal to death (#Love≠Death). This has to come to an end.
Femicides, should not be normalized, there has to be deliberate action by all Kenyans to end violence against women. We call on the President of Kenya to declare femicide and other forms of Gender Based Violence a national disaster and commit to addressing it. We also call upon the Director of Criminal Investigations to speed up investigations in all ongoing femicides cases and bring perpetrators to book.
The recent occurrences of the killings and wanton loss of lives in unclear circumstances of women and girls is horrifying and a determinant of lack of respect to the constitutional provisions of respect to human life. Women and girls like many other citizens ought to be valued and not subjected to the grievous acts that endangers or take away their right to life as we have seen in the recent weeks.
We take note of the recent gruesome murder of Monica Kimani in her Kilimani apartment. Her killing adds up to the numerous cases of killings of women and girls that have been witnessed across the counties. On September 4, Kenya woke up to the news that the body of Sharon Otieno, a Rongo University Student was found dumped in Kodera Forest, Homabay County. She was heavily pregnant at the time.
On September 6, Maribel Kapolon a 9 years old daughter of the Githongo Court Senior Margistrate Caroline Kimei was abducted and subsequently murdered in unclear circumstances. Even though two suspects are in police custody, nothing much has been done by the police to unearth those who killed her. In Meru County specifically, such killings are not new to residents, the abductions in broad daylight and subsequent killings have become the order of the day. A week before Maribel’s body was found in Gitoro forest, a 10-year-old boy was struggled to death in Karama, Tigania West. On September 16, a middle-aged woman’s body was discovered in the same area with some body parts missing. This demonstrates heightened cases of insecurity across the country. We consider this as intentional killings against women and girls.
The Center for Rights Education and Awareness has noted with great concern the repetitive nature into which this killings are conducted and despite the complaints being registered with the police immediately there seems to be laxity among the security organs is in dealing with such cases. As an organization that prides itself in the protection of the rights of women and girls and in the promotion of a society free of violence against women and girls, we say enough is enough.
CREAW therefore demands the following:
1) THAT the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinet, Director of Criminal Investigations, and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution act with speed and ensure the killings are pursued to conclusion and the culprits apprehended.
2) THAT the Chief Justice David Maraga together with all relevant arms of the government of Kenya recognizes gender based violence as a cancer in our society and proceed to set up special courts to prosecute cases of gender based violence.
3) THAT the Judiciary as the custodians of justice continues to prioritize gender based violence cases and meet out strict sentences in accordance to the Sexual Offences Act and other statutes.
4) Finally, we ask that all Kenyans continue to hold sacred the rights provided by our Constitution and speak out against gender-based violence whenever it occurs in our society. We must all assume responsibility to end all forms of violence against women in Kenya. That we will come out to strongly condemn such acts whenever they arise.
As CREAW we remain vigilant in the call for justice not only for the families affected but also to the departed souls. Such grievous killings meted on women and girls must not be accepted in our communities. As a country, we have a duty to preserve the life of every citizen regardless of his or her gender, race of social status. We extend our deepest condolences to the families affected. We will lend our support to ensure justice is done.
Executive Director, CREAW
For more information, please email us on [email protected]
Our attention has been drawn to the defilement incident that took place at Moi Girls High School, Nairobi on the June 2. The Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) condemns in the strongest terms this heinous and barbaric act meted on girls from the school. Acts of defilement and other sexual offences are a violation of human rights and as such must never be accepted in our schools.
The alleged defilement incident adds up to the traumatic fire incident that happened late last year leaving nine students dead and scores injured. No one has since been held liable for the fire and the deaths that followed at the Moi Girls High School. Institutions of learning have a duty of care and protection of learners and must provide a safe space where girls are able to exercise their right to life and quality education without any harm.
The school administration, the Teachers Service Commission, the Ministry of Education as well as the Interior Ministry should take responsibility for the glaring loopholes in the school’s security system. We call on concerned institution to fast-track investigation and ensure that those responsible are brought to book and that justice is done to the survivor and her family.
We take cognisant of the swift action taken by the Minister for Education to shut down the school for a week to pave way for investigation however this is not enough as the defilement case raises more questions than answers. CREAW stands together with the survivors of the alleged defilement and their families and will lend its support to ensure that justice prevails for all the girls who are survivors of this alleged offence. About CREAW
The Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) is a feminist national non-governmental organisation founded in 1999 with a mission to champion, expand and actualise the rights of women and girls. Since its inception, the organisation has worked around interventions aimed at to creating public awareness on the rights of women and provision of free legal aid and psychosocial support to female survivors of sexual and gender based violence.
Gender Based Violence is a gross violation of human rights and should never be accepted or normalized. The Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) condemns in the strongest terms the assault witnessed at the Kiamariga Police station as seen on videos being circulated on various social media platforms and the mainstream media reports.
The information reaching CREAW and as seen on the video indicate that these heinous acts were committed in the presence of Mathira Member of Parliament Rigathi Gachagua and various police officers who seem not to be moved by the assault on the Observer – Martha Miano allegedly by the County Development Fund driver and therefore took no action! Such occurrence is regrettable from public officers who are under oath to carry themselves with honor and integrity.
We take note that this incident is not a unique case and that such incidences of violence against women continue to be on the rise. A recent report by GVRC indicates that over 4,000 cases of violence were reported in 2017. This acts dehumanize and take away the dignity and respect of our women. Therefore, the magnitude of the problem cannot continue to be ignored.
As an organization working to protect and promote the rights of women as enshrined in the Constitution, we strongly rebuke the savage and violent treatment accorded to Martha Miano. We therefore call upon the IEBC, Inspector General of Police and the Director of Public Prosecution to condemn this criminal act and take appropriate action immediately.
The Inspector General of Police should also ensure that Martha Miano is well protected while the perpetrator is out on bail.
Nairobi, Kenya, February 21, 2018: Katiba Institute representing Marilyn Kamuru, Daisy Amdany and Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) filed a case to safeguard the rule of law, constitutionalism and safeguard against the slide into state sanctioned anarchy.
The case highlights the violation of established law that requires that all State officers and organs have limited authority and may legally act only in accordance with the Constitution. Relying on a prior decision of the High Court in Petition 566 of 2015 which determined that the Cabinet was unconstitutional, null and void effective August 2017, the case argues that The President failed to observe the law by following the process for appointing Cabinet.
That the actions of the President in nominating and appointing Cabinet was beyond his constitutional authority as provided in Articles 1, 2, 3, 129(1), 132(2) and 152(2), and as such per Article 2(4) these acts are invalid. That the actions of the National Assembly in approving a partial list of nominees in the knowledge that their approval would result in an unconstitutional Cabinet (one in violation of 27(8), were beyond their constitutional authority as limited in Articles 1, 2, 3, and 93 which requires the National Assembly must act “in accordance with this Constitution”.
The case seeks orders that the ultra vires actions of the President and National Assembly are declared unlawful with no legal effect, and further orders to restrain all members who hold State office through these illegal actions from exercising state authority. The case also seeks orders requiring the President to legally constitute a new Cabinet in compliance with the Constitution and all applicable law.
This case is important to every Kenyan because it seek to affirm the Constitution which provides that neither State Officers nor State Organs have unlimited authority in Kenya or over Kenyans. That the exercise of any State officer or Organ outside of the constitutionally allowed authority is illegal. That the exercise of State authority is not available to persons who have acquired State office illegally, or through a violation with the applicable law and processes for eligibility, approval and appointment.
Date: 1st February 2018
On 26th of January 2017, the President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, in a statement to newsrooms announced his new cabinet comprising of, Cabinet Secretaries, Chief Administrative Secretaries and Principal Secretaries. Part of the list of new cabinet appointees has been forwarded to parliament for vetting.
Of all the nominees, there is no youth. Further, out of the whole proposed cabinet composition, only one person with disability has been nominated as a Principal Secretary. The percentage of women in all the cabinet position remains grossly below the constitutionally stipulated percentage. Worse still, it has retrogressed rather than progress contrary to Article 27 (8) of the Constitution. Whereas in 2013, the percentage of women nominated for the Cabinet Secretary and Principal Secretary positions was 30% and 36% respectively, the percentages in the current list of nominees have dwindled to a merger 28.5% and 27.8% respectively. Exacerbating the situation, regional imbalance is out-rightly glaring with 2 out of the 43 Kenyan tribes scooping 59% of the cabinet positions.
The list of nominees reeks of pungent discrimination on the basis of age, disability, ethnicity and gender. The list flies in the face of paragraph 3 of the preamble, articles 3, 10 (b), 27, 54(2), 55 (b) and 131(2) of the Constitution and Section 10 of the Public Service (Values and Principles) Act. It cannot and should not be allowed pass in a democratic state like ours which is based values including inclusivity, equality and non-discrimination.
We, the youth, persons with disabilities, women and Kenyan from diverse ethnic backgrounds, condemn the President’s nominations, which fall far outside the coordinates of the Constitution. We note that it is embarrassing and saddening in equal measure that twice, the President has taken oath to respect, uphold and defend the Constitution, but has gone ahead to patently and openly contravene its most basic tenets.
In his various addresses to the state, the President has reiterated that he is a president of all Kenyans and not selected Kenyans; a symbol of national unity mandated under article 131(2) (c) & (d) of the Constitution to promote and enhance unity of the people, promote respect for diversity of the people and Communities of Kenya and to ensure the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. It is utterly shocking that the same is not reflected in his actions. It begs the question whether he indeed is a symbol of national unity or that of a selected polity for which we youth, persons with disability, women and Kenyans from certain regions do not belong.
The President, purportedly acting on recommendations of the Public Service Commission, has gone ahead to create the positions of Chief Administrative Secretaries in the Cabinet. Judging from the general and specific job descriptions of the Chief Administrative Secretaries, they rank higher than Principal Secretaries, a development that was not envisioned in the Constitution. Had people of Kenya wanted representatives higher in hierarchy than the principal Secretaries, it could have been easier to include the same in the constitution.
We strongly condemn the move by the president to manipulate the Constitution by reincarnating the order associated with the old constitutional dispensation (i.e. Minister- Assistant Minister- Permanent secretary). Such unconstitutional move must be arrested immediately. We know that the Chief Administrative Secretaries positions were created purposely as consolation prices for the President’s allies who lost in the August 8 2017 General Elections and not for nation building . It is for this reason that the positions were never publicly advertised to give room for competitive selection contrary to article 232 of the Constitution. Kenyans denounces the redundant positions under the current constitutional dispensation and we still refuse to be burdened by the huge wage bill attendant to superfluity. We further note that the nominations of the chief administrative secretaries is marred with discrimination as elucidated above.
We the youth, persons with disability, women and Kenyans from diverse ethnic backgrounds recognize all that the all the groups are capable of ably taking up leadership roles in our country. We aspire for a government based on human rights, equality, inclusivity, social justice and the rule of law.
Therefore, we demand:
That the President recalls the gravely flawed list and resubmits a list that strictly adheres to the Constitution dictates with emphasis on inclusivity.
That the judiciary shows its fidelity to the rule of law and quashes these unconstitutional appointments.
Victims of sexual harassment and human rights crusaders are celebrating victory after a Nairobi court handed the death sentence to three men who molested a woman inside a minibus in Githurai.
The incident in which the three, a matatu driver, a tout and a petrol station attendant molested the female passenger sparked outrage 3 years ago after a video of the incident went viral.
We concerned Kenyans comprising heads of Women leagues of political parties, Women aspirants, women MCA’s, parliamentarians, Center for rights Education and Awareness and the Women’s Movement under the auspices of the National Women’s Steering Committee condemn in the strongest terms possible all forms of violence against women and particularly the increasing violence that is being witnessed during the ongoing campaign period for ahead of the forthcoming general elections.
Violence within Kenya’s electoral process is one of the sad hallmarks of our electoral process and one that has seen the country teeter on the brink of destruction. This violence has been one of the major deterrents to female aspirants and female voters. Violence against women has also been used as a tool of terror against women who dare to seek elective public office. The Constitution of Kenya 2010 has resolved this issue by providing for the guarantee of equality in the political sphere, the continued refusal by the ruling political class to put in place a mechanism means that at every turn, women continue to fight against the grain in a male dominated political system. The flip side of this argument is that when women fail to get elected in enough numbers because the entire system undermines their aspirations and candidature, they are then accused of not doing enough to “get themselves elected”.
We have witnessed attacks against women aspirants such as the brutal attack on Eunice Wambui commonly known as Nyasuguta, an aspirant for the Embakasi South constituency, intimidation against Senator Naisola Lesouda which forced her to cut short her appearance on a local radio station in Samburu County, the brutal attack on Elizabeth Manyala MCA Kayole Central ward, Rosemary Ogutu MCA Siaya County who experience the most brutal and shameful form of cyber-attack on her person and reputation; several threats and intimidation aimed at deterring the aspirations of women candidates
These attacks limit women’s political participation and discourage them from exercising their rights, including their right to vote. Continuous alienation of women from political processes, by use of violence, undermines the democratic process at large.
As concerned women we stand in solidarity with all survivors of electoral violence and call on Kenyans to join us in breaking the silence against all forms of violence particularly violence against women in the political arena.
We also call upon our youth who are used to perpetrate these heinous acts of violence against women and other opponents to refuse to be engaged in such acts.
In a democratic Kenya where the rights of citizens are respected there is no room or place for violence against women in politics and we now urge all Kenyans to join us in demanding for the following;
THAT the Inspector General of Police immediately launches serious and credible investigations into the assault of Eunice Wambui, Elizabeth Manyala and Rosemary Ogutu and every other incident of violence against women in politics.
THAT the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions prosecutes to the fullest extent of the law, everyone involved in these assaults.
THAT the government through the relevant office put in place special measures such as increasing security as the aspirants continue in their campaigns. We are also calling on the IEBC to ensure that they enforce the elections code of conduct in its fullness. We are also calling upon the Inspector General of Police to have a special unit in place to deal with crimes perpetrated during this electoral season and for proper investigations to be carried out and ask also that the Director of Public Prosecutions puts in place special prosecutors on electoral gender based violence cases to ensure expedient access to justice especially during this electoral season.
THAT the Chief Justice together with all relevant arms of the government of Kenya recognize that electoral violence is a blight on this nation and proceed to set up special courts to prosecute cases of electoral violence and in particular gender based electoral violence.
THAT the Independent Boundaries and Elections Commission (IEBC) addresses the issue of Violence against Women and ensures that known perpetrators are barred from running for election
THAT Political parties in Kenya sign a pledge that opposes all forms of violence and intimidation against women seeking political positions within their parties and bar aspirants that are known to be perpetrators of violence against women from party positions
We finally ask that all Kenyans continue to hold sacred the rights provided by our Constitution and speak out against electoral based gender based violence whenever and wherever it occurs. We must all assume responsibility to end all forms of violence in politics and especially violence against women and refuse to be used by crude politicians to carry out the vice. That we will come out to strongly condemn such acts whenever they arise.
An agreement with Her Excellency Ambassador Ferdandez (Embassy of Finland in Nairobi)and Executive Director Wangechi W. Moegi to improve access to justice for women and girls survivors of Gender based Violence in Kibera and its environs for the next 2 years.
With this support Centre for Rights Education and Awareness – Kibera office will continue to provide Legal aid, psychological support, and engage in community dialogues to discuss violence against women and girls.