LAUNCH OF THE FIDA KENYA’S “SEMA USIKIKE” SMS HOTLINE

FIDA Kenya wishes to congratulate all women candidates who won party nominations and have been cleared by IEBC to vie for various posts in the upcoming General Elections. We applaud them for their efforts in the campaigns. The choice to vie for a political seat is a particularly difficult decision for a woman and her family. These women are brave and we wish them all the best in their campaigns.

FIDA Kenya is however concerned with the increased rate of violence against female candidates and their supporters. Several cases of violence against women aspirants have been reported countrywide and to the FIDA Kenya offices. We specially wish to reiterate the incidences of;

The death of the bodyguard to aspiring Mbita Member of Parliament Hon. Millie Odhiambo who was run over and killed by an opponent vehicle during the party primaries and the burning of the candidates house. We also took issue with the confinement of Esther Passaris who was locked in a room to prevent her from addressing her supporters. We further took issue with the incident of Eunice Wambui an aspiring Member of Parliament Embakasi South who was attacked by rowdy youths during a campaign at Mukuru Kwa Reuben. The youth committed acts of shame against the aspirant. Another candidate was Sarah Koore who was contesting for Member of Parliament in North Laikipia had parts of her car looted while she was out campaigning. These are just a few incidences of violations that women candidates go through during elections.
FIDA Kenya was alarmed by the lack of swift action by the security agencies in all these incidences. The inaction by the police, IEBC and other concerned authorities increases the intimidation of women candidates and their supporters.

As an organisation that promotes women participation in politics and leadership, we wish to strongly condemn these violent acts and call upon the police to protect the women of Kenya.

Kenyans are coming to terms with the fact that there is an increased number of women who have braved the campaigns to run for elective seats. It is important to note that this year 9 women will be running for gubernatorial positions. We have very high chances of having our first female governors. Similarly, we have women who have come out to defend their Member of Parliament seats and those who have grown from affirmative action seats to elective seats. This is unprecedented and for sure has caused jitters among those who think women cannot be leaders. We cannot afford to let these chances be ruined by electoral violence.

Today FIDA Kenya and her likeminded partners, have launched an SMS hotline dubbed SEMA USKIKE number 21661 which will offer an opportunity to Kenyans to identify and report any form of violence meted against women candidates and their supporters. This platform will work on a real time basis during this electoral period. The Platform can be used by victims and witnesses of election violence.

Sending an SMS is FREE and the platform is very friendly. Using your mobile phone all you need to do is send a brief text to the SMS code 21661 describing the violence witnessed and providing the location of the incidence. FIDA Kenya lawyers will immediately respond to the text and inform the nearest police station for response. The lawyers will further follow up the matter with the victims and where relevant offer legal aid. The public can also call FIDA Kenya on 0722509760 / 0710607241

We wish to inform Kenyans that this platform is complementary to police services. We urge Kenyans not to hesitate to report to the nearest police station any incidences witnessed. The responsibility to ensure that the rule of law is upheld rests squarely with the police. Women voters and the candidates have the right to vote, run for office and be protected from any form of electoral violence.

As a nation we have now arrived at the forked section of the road and tough action must be taken. We must no longer skirt the issue of election violence. FIDA Kenya will continue to follow up with the police, provincial administration, IEBC and other relevant organizations to ensure that justice has been served and ensure that election violence meted against women is STOPPED.

ESCALATING CASES OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN THE COUNTRY

It’s with deep sorrow and dismay that FIDA Kenya has learned of the heinous acts meted upon a 27-year-old woman by her husband citing childlessness in marriage. According to the media reports, the woman was allegedly attacked with a panga by her husband who they are said to have separated for about three months. The husband chopped off both her hands and further inflicted more injuries on her head and neck.

Considering the acts of Violence as described by the woman, evidence by the descriptive photo shots, it is quite clear that this man has no respect for human dignity and should immediately be investigated and prosecuted.

Further, FIDA Kenya is angered by the escalating cases of violence against women in the country. FIDA Kenya notes with a lot of sadness that cases of domestic violence are on the rise and nothing has been done about it.

As an organization that envisions a just society that is free from all forms of violence and discriminations against women, we call upon the office of the Inspector General to immediately charge and prosecute the man with attempted murder.

We further call upon the Inspector General to ensure that the escalating cases of violence are immediately dealt with and that all culprits are brought to book.

FIDA Kenya reiterates that violence against women is unacceptable and must not be condoned in the society.

FIDA KENYA ELECTS NEW CHAIRPERSON – REACTION TO THE STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS

FIDA Kenya elected its new Governing council yesterday chaired by Mrs Josephine Wambua- Mong`are. Whilst this new team congratulates the president for his State of Nation address that enumerated the achievements and the challenges of the Jubilee Government for the last 3 years, The Council is concerned that the president did not highlight the steps that the Jubilee Government has taken to ensure that the country realizes the 2/3rds Gender Principle.

FIDA Kenya hoped that the president would highlight the measures his Government has put in place in line with the spirit of the constitution and the Jubilee Government manifesto to ensure that the country realizes this important milestone.

FIDA Kenya appeals to the president to rally the members of parliament to objectively consider and pass the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill no.4 of 2015 currently before parliament.

The elected FIDA Kenya Governing council members are;

Josephine Wambua-Mongàre – Chairperson
Grace C. Nyongesa – Vice Chairperson
Faith Mony Adhiambo – Secretary
Nancy Kang`ethe Ikinu- Treasurer
Roselyne Odede- Upcountry Representative(Western)
Jacqueline Waihenya- Upcountry Representative(Coast)
Betty Achieng- Council Member
Lily K. Musinga- Council Member
Edna Bosibori- Council Member
FIDA Kenya is confident that these great women will steer the organisation to greater heights and promote the agenda of women rights in Kenya.

With thanks – Christine Ochieng

FIDA Kenya Executive Director

For further information please reach:

Email: info@fidakenya.org

Call: Tel: 254 202 2604043/4 Mobile: 254-722509760/ 254710607241

APPOINTMENT OF THE DEPUTY CHIEF JUSTICE AND THE SUPREME COURT JUDGE

The Federation of Women Lawyers – Kenya (FIDA-Kenya), is a non-profit, membership organisation consisting of over 1,100 women lawyers committed to increasing women’s access to justice in both formal and informal justice systems in Kenya. FIDA Kenya was established in 1985 after the 3rd UN Conference on Women. The organisation’s vision is to have a society that respects and upholds women’s rights and the mission is to promote women’s individual and collective power to claim their rights in all sphere of life.

FIDA Kenya has been following with keen with interest the past interviews of the CJ position by JSC in which the Hon. Justice David Maraga, a person of male gender was selected as well as the ongoing interviews for the position of the DCJ and Supreme Court Judge. Yesterday we witnessed the Hon. Justice Pauline Nyamweya withdraw her candidature for the DCJ position citing her ethnic and regional balance consideration in light of the fact that she hails from the same ethnic community as the CJ nominee Hon. Justice Maraga. FIDA KENYA wishes to commend the HON. Justice Nyamweya for her selfless and patriotic act, despite the fact that she was also very qualified for the position she had been shortlisted for.

FIDA Kenya wishes to take this opportunity to point out to the JSC of the need to meet and comply with constitutional requirement of ensuring that the composition of the Apex Court meets the 2/3 gender principle as expected for all appointive positions. It is the FIDA KENYA position that currently as constituted in the Supreme Court as currently constituted is not compliant with the 2/3rds gender principle. FIDA KENYA urges the JSC to correct this anomaly during the ongoing recruitment process.