Bringing ‘Haki Mkononi’ to Mombasa

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On 6th and 7th September, 2016 Kituo conducted training on M-Haki for volunteer advocates and community paralegals from the Coast region. The advocates were drawn from Malindi and Mombasa and paralegals from our justice centres in Lamukhani, Kwale County and Kisauni in Mombasa.

The successful trainings were held at the Bliss Resort in Mombasa and are meant to introduce our key stakeholders to M-Haki as Kituo cha Sheria is piloting the M-Haki platform to promote access to justice through which Kenyans can access legal aid through mobile phones, using the number 0700 777 333. M-Haki seeks to reduce the time and distance taken to access legal advice-Haki Mkononi!

The M-Haki message in the region was also taken to the people in the region on Baraka FM ahead of upcoming community outreach forums.

We Care for Justice.

RCKM.

Kituo Cha Sheria.

 

Kituo Cha Sheria Launches the Meru G.K. Prison Justice Center

MERU1Kituo Cha Sheria welcomed the Meru Main GK Prison Justice Center to the family of legal empowerment centers on the 10th August, 2016. The Center was launched after a paralegal training on Criminal law and procedures was conducted from the 1st to 9th of August 2016 at the Prison facility.

August 10 is the International Prisoners Justice Day and this year the day was marked under the theme of Access to Justice toward decongestion of prisons. One of the goals of Kituo’s prison paralegal trainings is to decongest correctional facilities by empowering the prisoners and remandees on self-representation in court, how to adduce evidence if any, how to cross examine witnesses, how to write their submissions, how to make mitigation statements, how to make interim applications such as those for bond, bail and making applications for Community Service Order.

The following topics covered were; Basics of Paralegalism, Introduction to Human Rights, Bill of Rights (Chapter 4 of Constitution), Criminal Procedure Code Chapter 75 Laws of Kenya, Powers of Court, Provisions relating to all Criminal investigations, Mode of taking and recording Evidence in Trials, Procedures in Trials before a Subordinate Court and High Court, Sentences and Executions, Appeals, Self representation (Criminal Approach), Power of Mercy Act, The Prisons Act and Community Service Order.

The training was conducted by Kituo lawyers Maureen Thuo and Ashioya Biko together with Kituo Volunteer Advocates within Meru. The training on Community Service Order was an important session as the inmates were taken through the process of applying for a community service as it presents some inmates with the option of serving from outside hence decongesting the prison. The newly acquired knowledge on the Bail and Bond Guidelines was equally important in the process of decongestion. Giving inmates the tools to represent themselves in legal matters will increase access to justice and also empowers inmates to challenge situations of injustice and abuse of certain rights inside the prison.

Bringing prison constables on board was also important in creating awareness on inmate’s rights and their obligations to ensure the rights of the inmates are protected as well as offer oversight in ensuring that prison paralegals work with the officers and raise awareness about the activities of the paralegals in prison.

The eventful ceremony was witnessed by representatives from partner organizations and agencies including the Kenya Prisons Service, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), CEFA, EU, Legal Resources Foundation (LRF), ICJ-Kenya, Haki Mashinani and Embassy of the Netherlands.

A total of 37 participants were trained, 30 of whom were inmates and 7 prison constables. The inmates comprised of those on long sentences, pre-trial detainees charged with capital offences as well as the condemned. Kituo urges the trained paralegals from Meru to work hard and use skills they have acquired to benefit themselves and fellow inmates.

Kituo Cha Sheria

We Care for Justice

Kituo undertakes M-Haki Market Research and Training in Nairobi

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Starting on the 8th June 2016 at the Korogocho Community Justice Centre; 10th June 2016 at the Kibera Community Justice Centre and on 15th June 2016 at the Kamukunji Community Justice Centre, Kituo has been carrying out M-Haki market research and training for community members within where our justice centers are based.

M-Haki-‘Haki Mkononi’ is the use of SMS technology to disseminate legal information to clients and Kituo is currently in the first phase of a three phase implementation process where we’re conducting market research primarily to find out what people are willing to pay for the service.

In addition, Kituo is collecting and analysing data and experiences needed to engage Kituo stakeholders including volunteer advocates, paralegals and community members. This phase is ongoing ahead of the launch of the M-Haki platform and the corresponding advocacy activities. The three Market research and training activities involved around 100 participants representing different groups from within the communities. The training and research activities were spear-headed by Kituo legal officers Ashioya Biko and Maureen Thuo assisted by the respective community justice centre coordinators.

M-Haki is an innovative and reliable technology developed by Kituo Cha Sheria intended to lessen the costs of accessing justice. To make use of this technology, Kituo has a dedicated mobile number – 0700777333  where the public can text legal questions at a small fee to be answered by Kituo lawyers and volunteer advocates. Questions are gathered from anyone and anywhere and this will save persons the trouble of using commuter fare to come to Kituo’s offices. In other words legal advice is just a click away… Haki Mkononi.

M-Haki follows the idea of delivering basic justice/legal advice to people even for those who use quite basic mobile phones. The platform also serves as an advocacy tool to be used by Kituo paralegals from the community justice centres to build their personal capacity on legal issues and create awareness among the general public on how to access the service directly.

RCKM

Kituo Cha Sheria.

Kituo Celebrates Katiba Day

Kituo cha Sheria joined the world in commemorating the Katiba Day on 27th August 2014. The event was aimed at celebrating the gains we have after 4 years of promulgating the constitution as well as strengthening the gaps in realization of devolution gains. The event was held at Kangemi on 27th August 2014.

The people of Kenya through a referendum adopted the new Constitutional order promulgated on the 27th August 2010 at Uhuru Park, Nairobi. The supreme law envisaged a new political, cultural and socio-economic era where the aspirations of the Kenyan people for a government that promotes the rule of law, respects human rights, equality and democracy as necessary tools for development.

In exercising this authority, every citizen and every person irrespective of tribe, race, religion, and status has an obligation in respecting the Constitution and actively participating in its implementation and enjoying the gains.

The question we grapple with is, if this has been the case and if not, how we can strengthen the grey areas as community and civil society actively engaged in the process of implementing the constitution and enjoying the gains.

The guests who included Kituo cha Sheria Executive Director, Gertrude Angote, Mercy Wambua from Law Society of Kenya, area chiefs and assistant county commissioner, acknowledged the fact that the period has not been all rosy. There has been ups and downs and there was need to sit together as Kenyans and see where we have failed and seek the necessary remedies.

Were keen to address the gains and the challenges we have faced in the period through which we have promulgated the constitution. There has been various emerging issues and concerns especially on the pending legislation on land and evictions and resettlements bills before the parliament.

For the four year’s period, the public have become more aware of their duties something that has increased interaction between policy makers and the public. The public have been equipped with knowledge on their participatory roles as well as oversight not only at the county level but also nationally.

FMP Police Consultative Forum

KITUO Forced Migration Programme (FMP) held a Police Consultative Forum on 20th March 2014 to discuss the question of refugee protection vis a vis the question of national security and how to reach a balance between the two. The event was held at Nomad Hotel in Eastleigh. The event was graced by various police heads; OCSs and OCPDs from Central, Kamkunji, Comfortable, Harvest, Shauri Moyo and Industrial Area. The Member of Parliament for Kamukunji, Yusuf Hassan was also present.
Speaking during the event, She. Yusuf Hassan expressed his concern over the increased state of insecurity and urged the police heads to work to see that the situation is addressed especially within Eastleigh. He acknowledged the fact East Leigh is one of the terrorist hotspot that had been on the limelight for breading terrorism in the country. However, he was quick to state that not all refugees of Somali refugees are linked with terrorism. Citing countries such as Ethiopia that has a large number of Somali refugees but has few instances of terrorism, he argued those present that something need to be done in addressing the question of insecurity. He questioned the legality of some refugees who are allowed to come into the city from the camps without being able to sustain themselves economically because they end up being used to terrorize people.
Linet Opiyo from UNHCR, addressed the issue of refugee protection within Nairobi and its environs. She expressed her fear over the government’s closure of the registration programme of refugees. She pointed out that documentation of refugees had been an issue that has not been addressed. This is because refugees have different registration documents having diverse format something that makes the work of police more complicated because they do not know which document to check and which one is valid.

Summary of Oscar Pistorious Judgement of 12th Sept, 14

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Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of culpable homicide – equivalent to manslaughter in British law – for killing Reeva Steenkamp. The ruling was based on the judge’s finding that he used excessive force and was negligent in firing through the door. Crucially, the judge believed Pistorius’s claim that he believed he was under attack from an intruder.

The culpable homicide charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years but no minimum sentence.

Judge Thokosile Masipa granted Pistorius bail, despite the state barrister arguing that he posed a flight risk now that he knew it was likely he would face a custodial sentence and had sold his house.

Pistorius was found not guilty of two of three firearms charges he faced, one of firing a pistol through the sunroof of a moving car, which carried a maximum five-year sentence, and the other for the possession of ammunition, which carried a maximum 15 year sentence.

He was found guilty of one of the three firearms charges, recklessly firing a gun in public at Tasha’s Bistro in Cape Town. That charge could also carry up to five years.

The International Paralympic Committee issued a statement saying that Pistorius had “done a great deal for the Paralympic movement” and would be allowed to compete again.

South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority said it was “disappointed” with the verdict: “We respect the court decision to convict the accused on culpable homicide, which is in fact a serious crime. We are, however, disappointed that we were not successful in securing a conviction on the original charge of premeditated murder.”

Pistorius’s friend Darren Fresco, who was involved in two of the firearms incidents, had his immunity from prosecution upheld.