MPs want rights groups to reveal foreign funders

Some MPs are agitating for a law that will force NGOs to reveal their foreign donors as suspicions rise that the International Criminal Court bribed witnesses in the cases against President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto.

The MPs believe the ICC is colluding with civil society and NGOs to “undermine the sovereignty of Kenya”.

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria said Friday a group of legislators was drafting a Bill that would require foreign-funded NGOs and civil society groups to reveal their sources of funds.

“We want to put a threshold on the foreign funding NGOs receive. If you receive more than 15 per cent, you should register as a foreign agent so that Kenyans can tell the difference between local organisations and agents of foreign powers,” he said.

He was speaking during a debate organised by Change Associates Trust on whether Kenya should pull out of the Rome Statute.

Tetu MP Ndung’u Githinji called for increased accountability of foreign sources of funding for NGOs.

Mr Githinji, who is also Parliament’s Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, said the ICC ignored an African Union directive that no sitting African head of state should be tried in a foreign court.

“We are being assaulted as sovereign member states of the AU and also as Kenya. The court doesn’t appear to recognise and respect the AU. If it is not adding value to our status as a sovereign nation, we should pull out,” he said.

Mr Ronnie Osumba, a running mate of presidential candidate Peter Kenneth, opposed pulling out of the ICC.

“It is a joke to think we can walk away from our responsibility as part of the community of nations. We need to call for reforms at the ICC that will ensure fairness and transparency,” he said.


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