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Press Statement: REMARKS BY KNCHR'S CHAIRPERSON ROSELINE ODEDE, HSC DURING THE TRAINING WORKSHOP ON ELECTION PREPAREDNESS BY ODPP & IJM ON THURSDAY, 28TH JULY 2022.

 

 

KENYA NATIONAL COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

 

TRAINING WORKSHOP ON ELECTION PREPAREDNESS BY THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS & THE INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION

28th July 2022

 

OPENING REMARKS BY THE CHAIRPERSON,

KENYA NATIONAL COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

ROSELINE ODEDE, HSC

28th JULY 2022

 

  1. I am delighted and greatly honored to be in your midst this morning to make few remarks as you begin this important training bringing together prosecutors and other criminal justice actors on the enforcement of electoral laws.  Kenya has had a commendable history of holding General Elections after every five  years; and this noble exercise remains an important signal to our maturing democracy which is an important step in the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms;
  1. Participation in the elections processes is a human right protected by international human rights law instruments including; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights. The holding of free, fair, credible & verifiable  elections requires genuine participation of both State and non – State actors;
  1. I want to thank and congratulate the office of the DPP on this proactive step of building the capacity of its staff and other criminal justice actors on key aspects of the forthcoming General Election which include among others the  state of human rights during the election period, contextualizing electoral related sexual and gender based violence, identification & prosecution of electoral related offences, prosecuting hate speech, digital evidence collection & prosecution  in the 2022 General Election among others;  
  1. These objectives and contents of this training directly mirrors   with the ongoing Kenya National Commission on Human Rights engagement  in the forthcoming elections under its “ HAKI NA UCHAGUZI 2022  ”   that looks at the entire electoral spectrum – pre, during and post the 2022 General Elections. The Kenya National Commission On Human Rights seeks to among others enhance credibility and integrity of the elections, ensure strict  adherence to the Constitution, Elections Act, 2011 and the Electoral Code of Conduct in order to guarantee free and fair elections, identify human rights violations and electoral malpractices during the pre-election, election and post-election process (election cycle), identify the special groups such as children, the elderly, women, the youth, persons with disability, PLWHA and their involvement in the election cycle among others;  
  1. In delivering on these, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has put in place among others: an elections monitoring hub that serves as its nerve center on all electoral matters, mapped 36 counties considered as hot spots across the Country , trained and deployed 120  monitors to the identified hot spot counties and stepped up  working with both state & non – state actors including the ODPP on delivering on these objectives;
  1. The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights takes note of the need for collaboration and synergy with other actors especially state agencies and am happy to  note that the component on interagency collaboration in the this training programme as these objectives cannot be met when institutions work in silos and at their institutional comfort;
  1. The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights monitoring of the 2017 General Elections led to a compendium of 4 reports: the Fallacious Vote – A Human Rights Account of the 2017 Political Party Primaries, A Mirage At Dusk – A Human Rights Account of the 2017 General Elections, Still a Mirage – A Human Rights Account of the Repeat Presidential Elections and Silhouettes of Brutality – An Account of Sexual Violence During and After 2017 General Elections. All these four reports had key  recommendations for the ODPP and included;
  • The ODPP to direct   the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority to urgently undertake speedy investigations on the cases that have been documented by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and other institutions on sexual violence during the 2017 General Election;
  • Allocate adequate personnel with specialized competences in prosecution of conflict-related sexual violence to ensure conviction of perpetrators;
  • Decentralize and equip the specialized unit on GBV to keenly focus on the complaints raised by the victims and survivors of sexual based violence;
  • Enforce the law which prohibits advertisement of government achievements as a campaign tool for both the national and county governments. This gives undue advantage to the incumbent’s;
  • Ensure timely and efficient investigations on cases presented before the office or those taken on own volition;
  • Ensure that any person whether at a personal level or acting in an official capacity and who participates in electoral offence is prosecuted as per the laid down procedures and written law;
  1. I take note of the various positive steps that have been taken in regards to implementing these recommendations by the ODPP. These  recommendations still remain relevant in the context of the ongoing electioneering period and thus the need for the ODPP to ensure that it’s well capacitated  to deal with the various electoral related offences when and if they occur. It will only be through dealing with these violations that there will be accountability for the violations and a guarantee for non – repetition which would contribute to free, fair, credible & verifiable  elections and which would ultimately  contribute to better protection and promotion of human rights particularly the right to vote and be voted in;
  1. Finally, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights takes note of the offence of torture that becomes prevalent during each election cycle and the 2022 General Elections will not be any exception. In this regard, the development of the specimen charge sheet under the Prevention of Torture Act 2017 and the Prosecution Rapid Reference Guide by your office and its recent launch is highly welcome. We hope that the same will be utilized during this electioneering  period considering the persistent challenges in  prosecution of alleged torture cases; 
  2. In conclusion, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights looks forward to collaboration and synergy with the ODPP and other actors in the criminal justice system to ensure that the right to vote and be voted for together with the attendants rights is enjoyed, promoted and protected;

I thank you all and wish you fruitful deliberations during the training sessions.

Roseline Odede, HSC

Chairperson

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights

 

 

 

 

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