The government closed over 500 Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) yesterday in a security bid aimed at cracking down terrorism in the country.
According to a statement from the government’s NGO Co-ordination Board, 510 organizations had been “de-registered for non-compliance with the law” and observed that some, whose identities it did not disclose, had been using their charitable status as a front for raising cash for terrorism.
10 of the (NGOs) were de-registered for failure to submit financial records, and at least 15 are suspected of money-laundering and helping to finance terrorism. Employee work permits were also suspended.
“Some NGOs have been and continue to be used for criminal activities, including as conduits of terrorism financing in Kenya and in the Horn of Africa,” the statement read in part.
“The board has with immediate effect de-registered these organizations, frozen their bank accounts and forwarded information on them to relevant government security agencies for immediate action,” the statement said.
The chairperson of the NGO Co-ordination Board, Fazul Mahamed Yusuf, said that legal action will be taken on NGOs that could be used for criminal activities and also warned donors that they will also be held accountable for failure to hold the organizations to account on use of funds.
“We shall hold donors accountable just as we do for NGOs if the funds they donate are used for criminal purposes,” Yusuf said.
Among the 500 organizations that have been deregistered is all the four affiliates of the Doctors without Borders (MSF), which is involved in medical charity in slums and the refugee camps around the country. They are, MSF- Switzerland, MSF-Belgium, MSF-France and its Dutch affiliate, MSF-Holland.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International, a charity run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without borders) with offices in Switzerland, France and Belgium and Liverpool risk being closed for failure to account for their finances and have been given 21 days to submit their audit reports.