The Non-Government Organization Coordination Board has asked Directorate of Criminal Investigations to immediately de-list the Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG) and arrest its directors.
NGO Board Executive Director Fazul Mahamed has further written to the Central Bank of Kenya asking it to freeze all Africog's bank accounts for operating illegally.
“AfriCOG is not registered under the NGOs Co-ordination Act 1990 as required by law. In fact,” Fazul states, “AfriCOG is and continues to operate as a charitable organisation in direct contravention of Section 22(1) which according to the Act is an offence punishable by law.”
AfriCOG, chaired by John Githongo and members Maina Kiai and Gladwell Otieno, was party to the 2013 presidential petition represented by lawyer Kethi Kilonzo at the Supreme Court.
AfriCOG recently filed a petition seeking to have the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) ordered to open up the electoral register for scrutiny.
The new move by the NGO board follows the de-listing of another high profile Kenyan NGO, the Kenya Human Rights Commission on Monday, a day before it was set to lodge a petition challenging the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
KHRC, which shares a board member in Kiai with AfriCOG, described the NGO coordination board move as politically instigated.
On his visit to Kenya back 2015, former US President Barack Obama stressed the significance of the civil society in the transformation of the country.
“Despite the hard-earned political progress that I spoke of, those political gains still have to be protected. New laws and restrictions could close off the space where civil society gives individual citizens a voice and holds leaders accountable.
The ability of citizens to organize and advocate for change – that’s the oxygen upon which democracy depends.” Obama said.