Success Stories-Lang’ata Women’s Prison

Success Stories from the Lang’ata Women’s Prison Justice Centre

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Langata women prison paralegals during the graduation  at the Lang’ata Women maximum prison

Article 48 of the Constitution of Kenya specifically advocates for access to justice for all. Kituo Cha Sheria has established Prison Justice Centres that are managed and run by trained prison paralegals to assist them self-represent in court, offer legal advice to the other inmates, educating them on criminal law and guiding them on how to confidently represent themselves in Court and empower the entire prison community. Kituo has played a big role in supervising these centres and providing technical assistance in legal matters that need the attention of an advocate. To date, Kituo has established Prison Justice Centres at Shimo La Tewa Men & Women Prisons, Lang’ata Women’s Prison, Kamiti Maximum Prison, Kodiaga, Nyeri Main (King’ong’o) G.K. Prison, Kakamega GK Prison and Meru GK Prison. As a result, inmates and Prison Officers have been able to offer legal aid services to inmates and from 2010 to date 10,000 + inmates have been released following interventions by trained paralegals. The Prison justice centers have significantly contributed to the decongestion of prisons and at the same time made justice accessible to those who could not afford the services of an advocate.

Kituo is always pursuing access to justice for all and through the prison paralegals model Jane Nyambuye Manyonge speaks on the results from the Lang’ata Women’s Prison…

“Walking down the memory lane, 2016 hitherto we, as Langata Women MaximumPrison have benefited a lot  from Kituo Cha Sheria through legal awareness. Your vision and mission are actually based on the spirit of charity. Thus, to help the poor and the marginalized. We sincerely appreciate you for taking your precious time and money, setting aside your other commitments to facilitate the just ended workshop.” These were the exact spoken words of Jane Nyambuye Manyonge, a qualified prison paralegal during the just concluded prison paralegal graduation which saw 30 inmates and 10 prison officers awarded certificates after a week-long intensive paralegal training at the Lang’ata Women’s prison.

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Jane Nyambuye Manyonge, a qualified prison paralegal giving her speech during the just concluded prison paralegal graduation at the Lang’ata Women maximum prison.

In her speech, that was full of gratitude, Jane on behalf of the other paralegals testified that they have been empowered through Kituo’s legal awareness programmes.

She added that they have acquired basic knowledge of law to that they now use to assist their clients; (a term they use to refer to their fellow inmates) with cross-examination questions, making submissions especially to clients who do not have advocates, encouraging clients to develop self-confidence during self-representation in court as well as drafting their defense and mitigation. According to Jane, the paralegals are no longer ignorant of their legal rights. She attested this based on the success stories that they have received from the prison justice center where they attend to their clients twice a week that is on Tuesday and Thursday every week.
“The paralegals are competent of doing the whole trial process, draft appeals, petitions, memorandums, revisions on review and review on appeals as well as giving legal aid and awareness to other inmates.” Said Jane.

Success Stories
With a broad smile on her face, Jane presented a number of success stories that they have documented at the prison justice Centre. “Our efforts have borne fruits {pause} and as such we have had many success stories the latest one being in this month February, 2018 where we saw four (4) of our fellow inmates walk scot free out of the prison gate through the A.D.R. initiative. Some cases have been terminated and the accused person’s acquitted through the paralegal aid. Best example is one Mary Kavetsa who was charged with murder. The prison paralegals played an instrumental role in helping her draft her defense which went through successfully. She was then acquitted. Olivia Mutheu another inmate who had 3 counts of roberry with violence and had no advocate to represent her in Court was also another one who benefited from the paralegal services freely. The paralegals assisted by taking her through the whole trial process, questions to ask before the Court and other legal advice. She was acquitted of all charges. Rahab Nyawira who is also a certified paralegal, had one file with three counts of roberry with violence. She was able to represent herself in court and was acquitted of the two counts and the third count was reduced to a lesser charge of handling stolen goods; which she got two years.
Pauline Mbugua, also a prison paralegal, was facing seven charges. She has used the knowledge she gained through the Kituo paralegal refresher training in prison to battle it out and argue her case in Court.  Pauline who represents herself in Court has been acquitted of five (5) charges and now has two files to go.”

Challenges Faced by Inmates in their Pursuit for Justice…
Jane noted that most of pre-trial inmates have no charge sheets thus making it difficult to assist them. She added that most of the inmates are also illiterate and do not only understand their rights but also the court process, what is required from them and of them hence this delays proceedings and judgments. Most of the inmates also cannot afford to hire advocates to represents them. All these put together most times lead to delayed justice or unfair judgment.

RCKM
Kituo Cha Sheria

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We need to get ‘Sports’ right…

Opinion Blog

Letter to the Kenyan Sports CS:

Dear Mr. Rashid Mohamed Echesa,

Allow me to congratulate you for your Nomination and Appointment as Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Sports and Heritage. This is indeed a great honor and privilege to be recognized as the men to head this docket with the responsibility of giving the President counsel as required by law and custom.  It is no doubt that you are competent enough, humble, self-driven with the ability to show accountability and transparency. Taken from President Kenyatta’s mouth, “to whom much is given, much is expected”. These are the expectations of a president- who is seeking to leave a legacy-, Kenyans who play and love sports and ultimately all Kenyans whom through the President have bestowed on to you in trust, the duty to lead them in the area of sports and heritage.

I must remind you that you are taking over this ministry at a time when it has witnessed massive failure and disproval from all corners. You must take note that a major private sector sponsor- Sportpesa, who have been massively funding sports in the country have reduced their funding due to disagreements with the National Government. This withdrawal of financial support has a trickle-down effect on all sports activities-football, boxing, rugby, etc. To illuminate the point properly, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards-Kenyan clubs who are both in continental championships may not have funds to prepare and honor fixtures let alone do well. Keeping with the beautiful game, you must remember that Kenya lost the bid to host the CHAN championships due to an apparent lack of infrastructure and unpreparedness. This is despite the Jubilee Government’s promise of world class stadia. You are getting into a ministry that is traditionally marred with corruption, misappropriation and mismanagement of funds, scandals, wrangles and politics in the various sports federations and disillusionment.

I am therefore writing to you to tell you why we need to get sports right as a country. Why you need to do things differently and why sports may be one of the solutions for Kenya.

The Nature of the Sports docket

The first thing to get right is to understand the nature of the Sports Ministry. The “false start” we always have is the thought that sports is a “small” ministry. There is therefore a tendency by the leadership to allocate relatively less money to the ministry and to treat is as a token docket. This is the ministry where things like regional balance and gender equality may be looked at. I do not blame the political class but understand that this attitude is cultural and is carried on from a society that believes in white collar jobs as opposed to sports. This is a challenge that you need to take seriously. If you assert yourself properly, understand your working environment, instill discipline; you may just help in making a difference

The Ministry requires a delicate balance between international, regional and municipal interests. It requires a comprehensive knowledge on the working of federations, negotiation skills and a grasp of the law. By nature, sports is dovetailed by different sectors which require knowledge in sports management and governance. It is very hard for the Government to convince people that they care about the youth when they perform horribly in sports and before I conclude this part, take note that if properly managed and actualized, it may be the gold that Government needs. This is because success in sports translates to success in other areas.

Economic Success

Sports have huge economic benefits if you think of it as a business. It means selling sports and merchandise through contractual obligations. The ministry should therefore step up in terms of sponsorship deals and endorsements. I urge you to have the capacity to negotiate and grow sponsorship for our sports. Sports create job opportunities and lastly, hosting tournaments such as CHAN have huge economic benefits that have been taken for granted. Development of roads and infrastructure also leads to economic growth. If you want to know the extent to which Kenya is losing just take a look at countries that take sports seriously, you will notice the kind of money that changes hands and what it does to the economy. Sports is also connected to areas such as trade, foreign affairs and tourism which indirectly help to spur economic growth. All I am saying is; Kenya needs to stop the myopic thinking that we’re currently stuck with regarding issues sports.

Social-cultural dimension         

Kenyans are traditionally and culturally known for long distance running. The country is also earning the status of a world power house in Sevens Rugby. Through these, our beautiful culture and way of life gets out in the world.  More importantly however, is the role that sports plays in shaping our society. It is an effective medium of advocating for good in the society and eradicating what’s bad.

Scientific research has proven that participation in sports is a very effective way of keeping young boys and girls from drugs and substance abuse. It is also used for mentorship and gaining a better perspective in life. All these are affected when Sportpesa quits sponsorship and the Government is unable to allocate funds to sports activities. You may also recognize the role that sports plays in keeping people healthy and as they say…health is wealth.

Politics & Sports

I am sure we all have noticed that sports is one of the things that always takes “tribe” and negative ethnicity from Kenyans. It is at the moment when the Shujaa are running towards the try-box that Kenyans always feel most patriotic. Sports is one medium to national cohesion and unity. It has always been used to fight discrimination and negative politics as it is used to advocate for good politics. Sports bring people together. So, I know you will agree with me that getting sports right is in fact part of the Jubilee government’s Big Four Agenda.

Sports as a Human Right

As a lawyer I need to also inform you of sports as a human right. This mostly applies to children but it extends into building sports academies, parks and areas where children can play and nurture talent. The Sports Act provides for the creation and development of Sports Academies for development of talent. These require coordination, management and proper governance.

In conclusion, these are very important reasons why we need to fix Kenya sports and get it right. We need to develop our institutions and invest in our talent.

Wish you the very best, Waziri!

Yours Sincerely,

Ouma Kizito Ajuong’   

Advocate of the High Court of Kenya    

Success Story- Meru Prison Justice Centre

Meru GK Prison Justice BannerArticle 48 of the Constitution of Kenya specifically advocates for access to justice for all. Kituo Cha Sheria has established Prison Justice Centres that are managed and run by trained prison paralegals to assist them self-represent in court, offer legal advice to the other inmates, educating them on criminal law and guiding them on how to confidently represent themselves in Court and empower the entire prison community. Kituo has played a big role in supervising these centres and providing technical assistance in legal matters that need the attention of an advocate. To date, Kituo has established Prison Justice Centres at Shimo La Tewa Men & Women Prisons, Lang’ata Women’s Prison, Kamiti Maximum Prison, Kodiaga, Nyeri Main (King’ong’o) G.K. Prison, Kakamega GK Prison and Meru GK Prison. As a result, inmates and Prison Officers have been able to offer legal aid services to inmates and from 2010 to date 10,000 + inmates have been released following interventions by trained paralegals. The Prison justice centers have significantly contributed to the decongestion of prisons and at the same time made justice accessible to those who could not afford the services of an advocate.

This is a Success Story from the Meru G.K. Prison Justice Centre…

SUCCESS STORY OF DOUGLAS MUTHAURA NTORIBI OFFENCE: ROBBERY WITH VIOLENCE C/SEC 296(2) OF THE PENAL CODE COURT: MERU HIGH COURT

MISCELLANEOUS CRIMINAL APPLICATION NO. 4 OF 2015

Case background

Douglas Muthaura Ntoribi was charged for the offence of robbery with violence contrary to Section 296 (2) of the Penal Code.  The action saw the attacked victim sustain a head injury from a cut and loss of Ksh. 500. He was convicted by the trial court sitting at Nkubu in 2005 and sentenced to suffer death.  He lodged an appeal (Criminal appeal number 118 of 2005) before Meru High Court, and on 29th July 2008, the same was dismissed. He soldiered on and filed Criminal Appeal No. 317 of 2008 before the court of appeal. That appeal suffered the same fate as the initial one at the High Court on 30th April 2014 with both judges citing that the applications did not meet the required threshold.

Douglas undergoes Kituo paralegal training…

Back In 2016, Kituo cha Sheria conducted paralegal training at Meru Main Prison, thirty (30) inmates underwent the paralegal training and were awarded certificates upon successful completion. Douglas Muthaura who was among the trainees testified how the knowledge he gained from the training helped him write a comprehensive appeal that saw the judge finally rule in his favor.

Case Determination        

The court ruled that the circumstances of the case did not call for death sentence or life imprisonment. In that regard death sentence was replaced by a 15 years imprisonment, sentencing running from the date of conviction dated 8th July 2005.

The Court’s decision was arrived at given that he had already spent almost twelve years in prison and yet, the victim of crime was treated of his head injury and immediately discharged from the hospital.

The Court in its ruling posed a question or rather wondered why such an applicant cannot reform and challenged the prison system to come up with effective rehabilitation models for convicts falling in the bracket of the applicant.

Justice Said Chitembwe cited the Supreme Court decision in MURUATETU v REP (2017) where mandatory death sentence was declared unconstitutional. He further opined that, High Courts are duty bound to consider cases where litigants have already been sentenced to suffer death and that, the consideration should not be limited to murder cases only.

RCKM

Kituo Cha Sheria

Political Parties as the Bedrock of Democracy and Good Governance in Kenya: Lessons from the African National Congress (ANC)

Opinion Blog

Political Parties in Kenya

While Political Parties in Kenya may be defined as loose ethnic organizations-based on personal vision and politics- that are formed as vehicles to get political power, the African National Congress (ANC) and political party politics in South Africa appear to operate on a  different tangent; an oasis in a large desert of political indiscipline, corruption, dishonesty and lack of vision. It is only in South Africa and the ANC that two Presidents have resigned, pushed out by the party due to allegation of corruption, mismanagement and abuse of office. Imagine for a minute, Kenya’s Jubilee Party asking President Kenyatta to step aside on account of failure to tackle corruption or the Orange Democratic Movement pushing for a vote of no confidence against Rt. Hon. Raila Amollo Odinga. This is not just laughable but impossible. It is against this backdrop that this article reflects on political parties’ culture in Kenya. This discussion based on five areas that Kenyan political parties may want to consider so as to be champions of democracy and good governance.

National-based Political Parties

The first thing for Kenya is to grow her national political outfits as opposed to ethnic and personality-based organization. It may be true this situation was crafted and seeds planted by the colonialist however, it is over fifty years and it is important for Kenyans to step out of the colonialist fangs. The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 in Article 91 demands of political parties to have a national character. This means that they should be inclusive and seek the common good of all Kenyans. As much as politicians may not agree, parties in Kenya are aligned to tribes. They carry the aspirations and dreams of their tribes. This takes away national unity and objectivity in political parties. No wonder in Kenya, political parties are not about intergrity, fighting corruption. They are not about the rule of law; rather, it’s about tribal interests and power. National-based political parties also mean parties that have women, persons living with disabilities and minority groups. If they were not so much engrossed in tribalism, they would be pushing the agendas for these people as they include them in their decision-making organs and policies.

Issue-based political Parties

Kenyan political parties like the ANC must be based on issues. It is hypocritical to expect candidates to campaign on issues when the parties do not have a stand on certain ideologies. Political parties should not be a difference between class or tribe, but ideologies. What is the Jubilee Party’s position on Genetically Modified Foods, or Wiper Democratic Party’s position on reforestation? What about the Orange Democratic Movement’s policy on inclusivity, healthcare, job creation and eradication on poverty.  This explains why political parties have identical yet unrealistic manifestoes every election year. Their ideas do not resonate with the citizens. They often have no clue on what the ordinary citizens goes through. A good example is the primary schools laptops project. It is very absurd to buy laptops for children who do not have books, pencils, teachers, classrooms, etc. If parties stand for ideologies that resonate with the people, it will be easy to do issue-based politics.

Issue based politics also helps cure the culture of party- hopping. Legislation attempted to help by putting a time limit for changing parties however; this gave birth to independent candidates.  The point is political parties need to cultivate a culture of ideologies upon which its members must abide by, in that way, party hopping will naturally die off.

Institutionalized Political Parties

The other thing to learn from ANC is to strengthen party structures. Strong party structures means creating leadership that is autonomous and is guided by an acceptable value system. This is opposed to personality based political parties. Institutionalization of political party helps in growing membership, creating awareness and societal values, condemning vices and cultivating party democracy. There is a live debate on the inability of political parties to conduct proper primaries and how this eventually affects the general election. The answer to this is to take political power from specific people to independent structures and institutions. The ANC has   moved from the leadership of Oliver Thambo, to Nelson Mandela to Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma and now Cyril Ramaphosa yet there are questions as to whether the Maendeleo ChapChap Party can survive without Governor Alfred Mutua.

How do political parties in Kenya discipline errant members? Kenyans have witnessed spectacular scenes from Members of Parliament and even Members of County Assemblies engaging in acts like physical fights in public and use of abusive language and hate speech, yet there is very little talk of discipline. If only this was taken as serious as it is with the ANC. Parties need to set standards for the members. It is very sad that in Kenya, politicians accused of corruption and abuse of office are protected rather than disciplined by their political parties.

Political Party Financing

For political parties to function properly there is need for financing. This however cannot be left for the elite and the party leadership. There needs to be a system that allows members to remit their contributions. In that way, all members get to own the projects by the parties. As this goes on the Government also need to be pro-active in checking their books of account and finances to ensure transparency and accountability. Legislation or Amendments to the Political Parties Act is necessary to regulate the moneys that are to be used in political activities. This is important as it helps in bring equity and equality in our politics.

Political Party Activities after Elections

What happens to political parties after elections? The ANC being majority in the House has always helped in holding the government to account, political parties in power in Kenya have always been a rubber stamp of the Government. The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 has given Parliament the power to oversight whether as a Jubilee or NASA affiliate. Political parties also play the role of pushing the agenda and representing the people’s needs, aspirations, desires and dreams. Political parties should be the avenue for citizens to speak out on governance issues. They need to be the space for a country to have dialogue. It is important for political parties to be a uniting factor rather than a dividing factor.

By:

Ouma Kizito Ajuong’-  Poet, Lawyer, Person with Disability, Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, LLB (Hon.) Kenyatta University, PGD KSL, Legal Practice.

The Samburu-Ilmisigiyoi Group Ranch Members fight for their land rights.

ELC PETITION 339 OF 2017 AT THE NYAHURURU ELC COURT- ILMISIGIYOI GROUP RANCH V LEMIYON LEPARMARAI & 8 OTHERS

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Kituo Cha Sheria is on record for a case concerning members of the Ilmisigiyoi Group Ranch who are from the Samburu community. Through our advocate Mr. John Mwariri we are representing a total of 600 families who form the Imisigyoi Group ranch and whose livelihoods are affected by the matter. Our clients are the owners and occupiers of the parcel of land situated in Lodokejek ward in Samburu County.

The dispute between the Ranch members and the defendants dates back to the time when the ranches were demarcated in the 1970s. During the said exercise beacons were erected and after a period of time the boundaries were illegally tampered with and as a result the Defendants who include the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation entered into our clients land illegally and have been occupying the piece of land.

The effect of this encroachment is that our clients have been dispossessed of their land with traditional boundaries and their livelihoods have also been affected as their grazing lands are now highly diminished. The matter filed at the Nyahururu ELC Court seeks to ascertain whether our clients are the lawful owners of the land identifiable by the aforesaid traditional boundaries and ensure that the parcels of land now occupied by the Defendants are returned back to the Samburu.

The matter came for hearing on the 13th February, 2018, when one of our witnesses, Mr. Lesingo Leiyagu testified and a further hearing is set for the 24th April, 2018.

RCKM

Kituo Cha Sheria

Defining ‘Independent Offices’ as Prescribed by the Constitution of Kenya, 2010

Opinion Blog‘Independent Offices’

The arrest, detention and ‘deportation’ of Mr. Miguna Miguna left many Kenyans shocked. This is because it has exposed the rot within the criminal justice system-something that characterized the dark days of the 80’s and 90’s in Kenya. While this is deliberately not a brief for Mr. Miguna, the uncouth, primitive, pedestrian, unprofessional and unlawful behavior of especially the Police Service left a lot to be desired. It was not only so embarrassing but also a manifestation of total disregard for Courts, Statute and Constitutional Human Right Law.

The funny bit of it is that at the end of it all, the Police appeared as more of the criminals as opposed to the treason-charged and self-proclaimed NRM general. Why should the Police Service behave this recklessly? Why play a game of cat and mouse with the High Court while breaking a myriad of fundamental provisions of the Human Rights Bill along the way? The answer to these questions is political interference. Interestingly however, the drafters of the Constitution of Kenya 2010- aiming to decentralize powers of the Executive- put safeguards in the name of Independent Offices, Commissions, the Judiciary and Parliament as a way to achieve both horizontal and vertical separation of powers.

Philosophically, Hans Kelsen assertions on a “sovereign” as one with ultimately all the power, someone who is not subject to anyone, doesn’t answer to anyone, yet everyone answer to them is frowned upon. Years of scholarship have emphasized that this “sovereign” doesn’t exist, especially in a democracy characterized by separation of powers. It is against this backdrop that Article 1 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 gives sovereign powers to the people of Kenya. It is carefully and deliberately crafted to bring out the rule of law and power of the people.  The President, Cabinet Secretaries, the Speakers, the Inspector-General of Police, the Attorney General are not therefore, sovereign but answerable to the Constitution and to the people of Kenya. This paper reflects on “Independent Offices” as a subject that has caused a back and forth since the promulgation of the supreme law.

The word “independence” ordinarily means separate. It denotes someone who is free and not controlled by anyone. Independent Offices as designed in the law however, have autonomy as much as they are accountable.

Simply put, these offices are deliberately designed this way, so that the holders can perform optimally without interference but also be properly accountable to other arms, organs, agencies and the people without passing blame. The Chief Justice for example, has the autonomy in managing and leading the Judiciary without interference by Parliament or the Executive but he is equally answerable to Parliament and Judicial Service Commission should there be questions. The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 majorly instituted Independent Commissions and others as discussed herein.

Independent Commissions (Chapter Fifteen)

Independent Commissions are so central to the working and administration of Government under the current regime. There are those that were created to cure historical injustices, while others have purely administrative functions dealing with different but important sectors of Government. They were created to decentralize presidential powers while promoting efficiency, accountability, constitutionalism and values and principles of the Constitution 2010. There have been a number of “conflicts” witnessed between some of these commissions and other organs of Government. These often undermine and interfere with the objects and independence of these Commissions. The National Land Commission set up under Article 67 for example, had a lot of tussles with the Ministry of Land over their functions and overlapping roles. Today the members of the commission are engulfed with accusations of corruption.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission is another that has had a fairly hard time. Article 230(4) of the Constitution gave them the power to set and regularly review the remuneration of public servants as they advise both County and National Governments. This was brought in to ensure equity and equality in public service remuneration as they manage the wage bill. They had to face confrontations, conflicts and interference with their objects especially with parliament and it is not surprising that as the commission winds up, members of parliament are seeking more money in the name of car grants, mileage allowances, etc. The National Police Service Commission has also recently been on the spot for conducting interviews subject to presidential directions contrary to the Constitution and the law.

 Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission (IEBC)

The drama and politics around the IEBC after the nullification of the August 8 Presidential election justifies this article in more than one way. As much as it is almost forgotten the Commission is still accused of contempt of court with regards to opening the servers. This emphasizes the earlier point that with independence and autonomy comes accountability. Away from this, NASA’s irreducible minimums and the Jubilee Party’s insistence on the repeat elections coupled with in-fighting within the Commission along political lines almost torpedoed Kenya’s political stability. This was tragic as both international and municipal laws insist on independence, neutrality, fairness, accuracy and credibility in the working of the electoral management body. Kenya’s electoral history paints a very dark picture when it comes to EMB’s especially the Samuel Kivuitu-led defunct ECK. However, the lessons that should have been learnt seem to have dried away like the morning dew.

Office of the Attorney General

The Office of the Attorney General is another Independent Office. This is because he/she is the principle legal adviser to the Government. He/she has the duty to appear and defend the Government in both civil and criminal case. The office’s autonomy is important for objectivity, professionalism and accountability. In the event that TV stations are shut down by Government in contempt of court orders, then the independence of the Office of the Attorney General comes to question. Article 156 (6) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 states that the Attorney General is the guardian of the rule of law and public interest and that involves obeying court orders and respect to the due process of the law.

Office of the Director of Public Prosecution

This is a new office that was historically cut out of the office of the Attorney General. The idea behind this was to take the role of prosecution from the police and give it to lawyers. The DPP under Article 157 (10) has the authority to enter criminal proceedings without directions. He/she may also direct the Police Service and the Inspector General to conduct investigations on a case. The importance of independence of the office cannot be over-emphasized. The Office of the DPP should however obey the courts of law; contempt of court is the lowest any lawyer can get. The case of Mr. Miguna also raised questions as to the charge sheet and the role of the Police vis-a-vis the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution.

Office of Inspector-General of Police

This Office is a new creation of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010. It was designed to replace the office of the Police Commissioner. The Inspector General performs independent command of the Police Service pursuant to Article 245 (2) (b). In the efforts to transform the police force into a police service, there was need to create an independent police command structure which enables them to work effectively without interference but with accountability.

This underscores the need for the police to be neutral and professional in political matters. As for the command structure neither the President nor the Cabinet Secretary in charge has a right to direct the Inspector-General. He/ She takes full responsibility when civilians are killed or court orders are not obeyed.

Other Independent Offices

The doctrine of Separation of powers primae facie creates three independent but coordinating offices, thus office of the President, Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court and Office of the Speaker from the two houses. The Governor’s office and the Country Assemblies under Chapter 11 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the County Government Act also have independence and autonomy from the National Government. This point is further cemented by Schedule 4 giving the different functions to the County as well as National Government.

The Office of the Controller of Budget under Article 228(1) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and the Auditor-General under article 229(1) are also independent offices meant to streamline public finances.

Checks and balances is the name of the game. This is one way to ensure efficiency and inclusivity in running the affairs of government. They must however work in cooperation and coordination. There is therefore a need to keep to the rule of law even as Kenya cultivates the culture of democracy.

“I am a Lawyer, I go for due process, I go for equity and equality, and these things mean a lot to me” -Mohamed Elbaradei.

By:

Ouma Kizito Ajuong’-  Poet, Lawyer, Person with Disability, Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, LLB (Hon.) Kenyatta University, PGD KSL, Legal Practice.

 

Success Story from the Nyando Community Justice Centre

NYANDO CJC LOGO

Success Story from the Nyando Community Justice Centre

Article 48 of the Constitution of Kenya specifically advocates for access to justice for all. Kituo Cha Sheria has established Community Justice Centres that are managed and run by trained community paralegals to assist members of the community at the grassroots level across the country agitate for their human rights and resolve disputes without resorting to the court process.

The community paralegals offer free legal advice to the members of the public, educate them on various aspects of law and guide them on how to participate in governance and empower the entire community. Kituo has played a big role in supervising the community justice centres and providing technical assistance in legal matters that need the attention of an advocate. To date, Kituo has established Community Justice Centres in Kamukunji, Kibera, Korogocho (all in Nairobi), Kitui, Turkana, Nyando (Kisumu), Kisauni (Mombasa), Lamukani ( Kwale) and Marereni (Kilifi). The Community Justice Centers have significantly contributed to the goal of promoting access to justice for the poor and marginalized people in society and at the same time made justice accessible to those who could not afford the services of an advocate.

This is a Success Story from the Nyando Community Justice Centre in Kisumu…

Shadrack Ayange Ogendo a resident of Kisumu North Location in Kisumu County has a reason to smile once again after the Kisumu High Court ordered for the issuance of the title deed of the 3.2 hectares of land that her step mother had acquired illegally.

Mr. Ogendo who comes from a polygamous family of four wives filed a complaint against his step mother Sarah Omolo Ogendo the first wife to his deceased father Samson Ogendo Ayange for transferring the entire 3.2 hectares land belonging to the family under her name without consulting other family members.

After a series of efforts without any tangible outcomes in pursuit of justice, Mr. Ogendo approached Kituo cha Sheria’s Nyando Community Justice Center where the community paralegals attended to him, screened and referred him to a Kituo Volunteer Advocate (VA) in Kisumu. The advocate advised him on the next legal action. VA Erick Otieno, assisted Mr. Ogendo in filing the matter in 2015. He then represented our client in all the Court proceedings until the conclusion of the matter in 2018.  The matter that was at Kisumu High Court before Justice Manjanja was ruled in our clients’ favor. The court gave an order to the lands office to remove the restriction that was put in the land Kisumu/Bar/633 by his stepmother and that the said land title deed under the step mother’s name be revoked. The judge also granted the family members the permission to engage the lands surveyors to spearhead the process of partitioning of the land equally to each of the four wives and another portion for Mr. Ogendo as the eldest son and each of them issued with the title deeds for their respective portions.

RCKM

Kituo Cha Sheria