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Rights, Power and Civic Action (RIPOCA): Research Findings on Kenya. Presented at RIPOCA Workshop University of Leeds by Prof. Bard Andreassen and Mr. Tiberius Barasa Friday, 3 December 2010. Introduction. From the 70s and the 80s - one party rule - the 90s of multiparty politics.

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rights power and civic action ripoca research findings on kenya

Rights, Power and Civic Action (RIPOCA): Research Findings on Kenya

Presented at RIPOCA Workshop University of Leeds

by

Prof. Bard Andreassen and Mr. Tiberius Barasa

Friday, 3 December 2010

introduction
Introduction
  • From the 70s and the 80s - one party rule - the 90s of multiparty politics.
  • But no change: KANU and Moi continued to rule, centralising and personalising power.
  • Issues of human rights, corruption and tribalism did not matter to KANU.
  • Positive change began to appear in 2003 after KANU lost to NARC in the December 2002 general elections – President Kibaki Administration sympathetic to human rights but lacks commitment to protect rights.
  • Weak electoral system leads to fraudulent elections In 2007 and a political crisis causing a serious set-back in Kenya’s political economy - post election violence.
  • This painted a blink picture to the already poor record of human rights in Kenya – loss of life and property, human displacement, increased insecurity and extra judicial killings.
  • Events that commenced in 2003 were efforts to initiate governance reforms and reconcile the people of Kenya - Agenda Four Reforms.
case study organisation methodology
Case study Organisation Methodology
  • A number of rights organisations were chosen for this study because they persist in advocating for and protecting human rights.
  • Organisations include: Kituo cha Sheria, Kenya Land Alliance and Miss Koch. Others include Law Society of Kenya, International Jurists Commission – Kenya Chapter.
  • The three organisations selected operate at local and national levels, have demonstrated commitment to protect human rights, and represent urban and rural constituencies.
  • Kituo is the oldest established and strong rights organisation in Kenya.
  • Kenya Land Alliance is a strong network organisation advocating for land rights in Kenya.
  • Miss Koch initiative is a CBO established to protect the rights of a people (particularly girls) living in informal settlements.
  • These organisations have focused on all types of rights: civil, political, economic and social rights.
  • Data collection: in-depth interviews; FGDs with individuals of the organisations; observations; online information and cross examination of interviews.
obstacles and constraints to human rights
Obstacles and Constraints to Human Rights
  • Visible power: from the government (local and central) and land owners.
  • Examples: KLA with land policy; Kituo with paralegal policy and Miss Koch encounter with local MP and area Chief regarding utilisation of CDF.
  • Hidden power: KLA encounter with the Government regarding registration; KLA encounter with land owners and flower firms in Naivasha; International bodies – Alston on extra judicial killings.
  • Invisible power: empowered communities – information, training and action.
  • Examples: Kituo on political accountability; Miss Koch and cultural power – Asha’s determination; KLA –women land rights, cultureand weak policies.
strategies to challenge power
Strategies to Challenge Power
  • Organisations use several strategies including: representation, networking, training, creating awareness, providing information.
  • Kituo: representation, solidarity meetings with communities, electronic media, paralegal training, gender balanced meetings, capacity strengthening and community mobilisation.
  • KLA: advocacy, community capacity building, production and dissemination of information, needs assessment, newsletter, forums, social mobilisation, dialogue and sensitisation and campaigns.
  • Miss Koch: mass awareness, community newsletter, FM radio, partnerships, beauty pageant.
  • Spaces of engagement: All the three organisations have created and claimed spaces. Kituo and KLA have demonstrated invited space.
  • Examples: Kituo was invited by the Government to participate in the drafting of Housing Bill, KLA was invited by the Government to participate in the development of the Land Policy. Miss Koch created and claimed space to advocate for transparency in the utilisation of devolved funds.
building countervailing power and challenging power structures
Building Countervailing Power and Challenging Power Structures
  • The achievements and success of the organisations show how they have built and used power with, power within and power to.
  • KLA has exercised power with the community, has generated power at the community level. The power within has enabled KLA to be successful with her strategies.
  • Miss Koch power with is clearly visible in the way she successfully created a formidable and reputable youth movement in Korogocho, which was replicated in other informal settlements.
  • Kituo’s power with and power within is visible in legal representation of the poor and marginalised, paralegal training and community rights awareness and capacity building.
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Rights secured? Power structures transformed?
  • Gradual change shown by adaption and enactment of new constitution - passed by majority.
  • Still constrained by strong political elite, “power over”
  • Commitment to implementing the new constitution lacking.
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