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Human Rights Commission pleads for Increase in Budget

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights wants the government to increase its budgetary allocation to the commission to facilitate its operation.

The commission’s Chairlady Roseline Odede has formally appealed to the Government to increase their allocation claiming that the funds offered in the current financial year were insufficient to adequately address the operational requirements of the organization

“The Commission was allocated 523.46 Million Kenyan Shillings in the 2024 Budget Policy Statement for Financial Yeah (FY) 2024/2025. This comprises 351.93 Million for compensation to Employees and 171.53 for other Operating Expenses” her statement said in part.

The Commission conveyed its concern to the Committee that the allocated amount is less than what they were allocated in 2023/2024 and is not adequate to address all the Organization’s needs.

They stated that the funding requirement from the Government for the Fiscal Year 2024/2025 is 992.82 million Kenyan Shillings.

Speaking during the briefing between Parliamentary Members of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) led by their Chairman George Murugara, and the Chairperson of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Roseline Odede along with KNCHR Commissioners, held at Sarova Whitesands, Mombasa, Murugara said that it is important that the matter is looked into.

Murugara said that the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee is the one charged with oversighting the KNCHR and it is important that they meet from time to time to discuss matters that cut across the two committees; oversight and budget.

He said that the discussion revolved around the devolution of the commission, emphasizing the significance of its expansion into rural areas.

He highlighted the importance of establishing various offices in these regions to address human rights matters effectively. This, he added, was among the key reasons necessitating the budget increase.

Murugara said that the KNCHR is working on a report regarding Shakahola that is expected to be ready in two weeks.

Furthermore, he added that following their discussion regarding the report on Shakahola, there arises a question as to whether it now warrants an examination of limitations on religious rights and freedom.

Roseline Odede, KNCHR Chair, said that the Commission has been in the Coast Region, Mombasa Kwale, and Kilifi for 3 days before the meeting.

She said that they noted the region to be vast and require more resources from the Commission to be able to effectively superintend Human Rights in the Region.

“We have been able to meet a cross-section of human rights players, and the issues that are arising from the region include elderly killings, especially in Kilifi where there have been 5 cases reported in the last month,” Odede said.

She noted that Incest is also a big concern in the region and that they are going to come up with events that will be able to sensitize the citizens and address the vice.

Land-grabbing cartels were also highlighted and have been violating people’s land rights, especially land owners who are not residents in the spaces, they find themselves at risk of losing ownership.

“We have been able to have a robust discussion on Shakahola and we are now about to finalize our report, we have been conducting this research since Shakahola started and we have been waiting for final words on issues DNA, the reunification of families with the bodies of their lost ones, issues of psycho-social support and the rights of the people, criminal trial,” Odede concluded.

By Fatma Said

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