The government has terminated a Sh 2 billion civic education program, funded by the USAID on grounds that an American NGO that the US organization is working with on the program dubbed; “Kenya Electoral Assistance program, KEAP 2017” is not legally registered in Kenya.
According to a letter written to USAID by the NGO board of Kenya, the International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES) is not legally registered and therefore lacks the legal status to operate in the country.
“Records held by the NGO board shows that IFES, is not a registered body in Kenya and therefore lacks the legal status to operate in the country. In addition the section 22 (1) of cap 134 laws Kenya clearly outlaws and prescribes penalties and jail term for the operation of an NGO in Kenya without registration,” executive director of the board Fazul Mahamed said.
The board also notes that IFES has opened and is operating bank accounts contrary to law and has called on CBK to freeze all banks accounts registered under the NGO.
“By a copy of this letter, the Central Bank of Kenya is advised to immediately preserve all bank accounts and any other funds held under the name of the International Foundation for Electoral System, until further communication from this office,” the letter reads in part.
The letter further states that all foreign employees working for IFES including the chief of Party, Michael Yard, have not applied for working permits and are therefore operating in the country illegally.
The board has directed the director of immigration to review the immigration status of all foreign employees and take appropriate legal action as stipulated under the Citizenship and Immigration Act.
Uhuru critics intention of donor funding for civic education
During his Jamhuri day speech president Uhuru Kenyatta questioned the intention of donor funding for the alleged civic education, warning foreigners to keep off the upcoming general elections and let Kenyans vote based on their will.
Uhuru further added that any funds on civic education should be directed to the IEBC and not channeled to the civil society.
Uhuru’s remarks came about after a list released by the NGO’s coordination board revealed that foreign agencies have allocated up to SH 14 billion for civic education ahead of the 2017 polls.