14th July 2019 PRESS STATEMENT For Immediate Release
The Commission’s attention has been drawn to a post circulating on social media (mainly on Facebook and WhatsApp) touching on alleged violations of the rights of children at St. Martin’s De Porres Special School in Nyabondo, Kisumu County and subsequent alleged cover-up of the violations by various agencies and members of staff of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR).
The Commission wishes to inform members of the public that, indeed, on the 24th of June, 2019 its Western Regional Office received a complaint from a Mrs. Caroline Kisuge who was a teacher at the School but who was transferred to another school. Ms. Kisuge lodged the complaint on behalf of a minor who had sustained injuries after a fall while in School. The Commission contacted the mother and brother of the child to seek further information about the child’s case.
On the 26th of June, 2019 the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) and the National Gender and Equality Commission (which had also received the same complaint) held discussions over the issue with the Kisumu County Director of Education who committed to follow-up the matter to verify the allegations and take appropriate action. The County Director also committed to share a report on the matter with the Commission. On the 27th of June, 2019 staff members from both the KNCHR and the NGEC visited St. Martin’s De Porres School on a fact-finding mission and held discussions with the School’s administration. Both the KNCHR and the NGEC are currently preparing a joint report on the matter, as they await feedback from the Office of the County Director of Education. The joint report will then be shared with relevant government agencies.
The Commission is therefore taken aback by the malicious and unsubstantiated allegations against its members of staff who have been and are still working towards addressing the concerns raised in the complaint. The Commission has been in touch with the mother to the child who is the subject of the complaint and she confirmed that she did not sanction the posts circulation on social media. The Commission reminds the public that it always acts as a neutral arbitrator in any dispute and the resolution of all disputes must be thorough and impartial. The fact that a complainant has not obtained the outcome they expected within the time-frame that they want is not sufficient reason to make frivolous and malicious allegations against the Commission’s members of staff.
If any member of the public has a complaint against any staff member of the Commission, they should not hesitate to exercise their cardinal duty and right to report the complaint to the Commission’s Chief Executive Officer or any other relevant Government agency, including the National Police Service, the Commission on Administrative Justice or the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
Head of Public Affairs and Communication
Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR)