Activists block police, KRA raid on AfriCOG offices

Wednesday August 16 2017

By KENNEDY KIMANTHI
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Police and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials on Wednesday attempted to raid Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG) offices in Lavington, Nairobi.

The officers however left after being denied entry over claims the court order they had is illegal.

Lawyer Harun Ndubi said an affidavit presented by the police and KRA officials had no heading and the orders it contains is not related to what they are requesting for.

“It is a forgery or careless work. It is shameful we can have this kind of action,” he said adding that he was called by AfriCOG Wednesday morning.

TAX RETURNS

He said the officers wanted to search for tax returns and other “unclear issues”

The application they served they wanted to serve AfriCOG and Gladwell Otieno.

“Their application is null and avoid and therefore we won’t allow them in. We will go to court to over this matter because the papers were inconsistent,” said the lawyer.

AfriCOG Chairman John Githongo said the organisation has been paying taxes and that KRA has documents on their returns.

The raid comes a day after the NGOs Coordinating Board claimed to shut it down for operating illegally.

LETTER

The board, in a letter to Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro, alleges AfriCOG has been operating illegally because it “is not registered under the NGOs Coordination Act 1990 as required by law”.

“AfriCOG is and continues to operate as a charitable organisation in direct contravention of Section 22 (of NGOs Co-ordination Act 1990 )which according to the Act is an offence punishable by law,” NGO Coordination Board Executive Director Fazul Mohamed says in the letter.

He also quotes Regulation 75 of the Act and the attendant regulation, which requires all organisations engaging in charitable activities to rescind their various registrations and obtain registration.

PETITION

“The purpose of this communication therefore is to urge your office to move with speed to close down the operations of this organisation and further arrest the directors and members of AfriCOG, for contravening the foregoing provision; and with a view to arraigning and prosecuting them in a competent court of law,” Mr Mohamed says.

AfriCOG was alleged to be operating illegally a day after the NGOs Coordinating Board deregistering the Kenya Human Rights Commission.

Officials of KHRC said they had been holding consultations within the civil society to determine if to file a presidential petition by the Saturday deadline, which is set by law.

KHRC chairman Makau Mutua, while commenting on the petition, said he would not rule out anything.

The don added that they will be back in court over the decision to shut down KHRC, which he termed illegal.