NAIROBI: The Government has already frozen Sh300 million belonging to 525 non-governmental organisations ( NGOs) which it deregistered on Tuesday.
Sources within the NGO Co-ordination Board disclosed to The Standard that the money will be redistributed to other organisations within the same sector, in case the deregistered ones do not regularise their status.
The board also threatened to seize the assets of the axed NGOs, which are believed to run into billions of shillings. On Tuesday, the board shut down about 510 organisations for failing to file their audited accounts and annual reports, and froze their accounts. Another unnamed 15 were closed over suspicion of having links with terrorist groups and engaging in terror activities. Wednesday, the board’s offices at Co-operative House were a beehive of activity as NGO officials sought to comply with the State requirements.
Currently, over 10,000 NGOs are on notice to submit their audited accounts, with less than two weeks remaining before they face the risk of deregistration.
JOBS AT STAKE
There are currently 15,000 registered NGOs in Kenya, including 3,000 international ones. Many projects and jobs that directly affect thousands of Kenyans are at stake following the move. NGO Co-ordinating Board Executive Director Fazul Mahamed said on Tuesday that NGOs which submit required returns and annual reports will be allowed to continue operations.
“We are not against NGOs. We are just asking them to comply with the law, which requires them to submit annul returns. Our requests are very straightforward and we hope they’ll comply,” he said. Efforts to reach many of the deregistered NGOs were unsuccessful as some did not respond to our requests for comment. Some did not have local addresses and telephone numbers, despite claiming to operate in Kenya.
ADRA Kenya Country Director Marcel Kaba clarified his organisation was not being shut down as initially publicised. He said they are based in Kenya but serve Somalia. “We have been in full compliance with the law. Our name is not even in the list. We humbly request the board to clear the confusion in the public domain about this issue,” he said.