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Title:  Kenya Human Rights Practices, 1995  
Author:  U.S. Department of State   
Date:  March 1996   
 
 
 
 
                                  KENYA 
 
 
After 9 years as a single-party state led by the Kenya Africa National 
Union (KANU), a 1991 constitutional amendment restored multiparty 
politics.  However, President Daniel Arap Moi and his KANU party 
continued to dominate the political system.  In addition to his role as 
President, Moi also heads the military, and controls the security, 
university, civil service, judiciary, and provincial, district, and 
local governance systems.  KANU controls a majority of the unicameral 
National Assembly's 200 seats. 
 
The large internal security apparatus includes the police Criminal 
Investigation Department (CID), the paramilitary General Services Unit 
(GSU), the Directorate of Security and Intelligence (DSI), and the 
National Police.  The CID and DSI investigate criminal activity and also 
monitor persons the State considers subversive.  Members of the internal 
security forces committed numerous serious human rights abuses.   
 
The economy includes a well-developed private sector in trade, light 
manufacturing, and finance.  The predominant agricultural sector 
provides food for local consumption, substantial exports of coffee, tea, 
and cut flowers, and around 70 percent of total employment.  Tourism 
remained the top foreign exchange earner.  Tight monetary policies 
reduced annual inflation to a single digit, and publicly traded 
companies were opened to partial foreign ownership.  With the earlier 
elimination of most trade controls, imports increasingly challenged 
previously protected industries.  Challenges to the country's continued 
economic improvement include corruption, unpredictable exchange rates, 
and inadequate infrastructure.  Annual gross domestic product per capita 
is $270.   
 
The Government's human rights record worsened in 1995.  Police committed 
several extrajudicial killings and tortured and beat detainees.  The 
Government arrested some police officers responsible for abuses.  
Authorities sometimes used arbitrary arrest and prolonged detention.  
Prison conditions are life threatening, and the judiciary is subject to 
executive branch influence.   
 
Citizens ability peacefully to change their government has not yet been 
fully demonstrated at the presidential level.  The Government continued 
to harass and intimidate those opposed to the ruling party.  In August a 
progovernment mob attacked members of a newly formed opposition party.  
In February and March, several arson attempts against a newspaper and at 
least one civic organization appeared to be politically motivated.  The 
Government continued to detain critics of the ruling party, including 
opposition parliamentarians and journalists, and two civic organizations 
were deregistered after they addressed governance issues.  The 
Government continued to limit freedom of speech, assembly, and 
association, and obstruct opposition leaders' access to their supporters 
and electronic media.  In January the Government forcibly relocated 
victims of ethnic violence for a second time, and in October, ethnically 
motivated riots broke out in a Nairobi slum.  The Government has not 
addressed the root causes of factional violence in the Rift Valley and 
elsewhere in Kenya.  Discrimination against women and ethnic groups, and 
violence against women and children remained serious problems.   
 
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 
 
Section 1   Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom 
from: 
 
   a.   Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing 
 
There was one killing with political undertones involving Bernard 
Kahumbi, a CID Superintendent.  In late April, Kahumbi led a highly 
publicized but unsuccessful police search for Njehu Gatabaki, editor of 
Finance magazine.  The day that Gatabki surrendered to police Kahumbi 
was found shot to death near a Nairobi slum.  Opposition 
parliamentarians claimed that Kahumbi had been murdered by government 
forces because he had failed to arrest Gatabaki, a fellow Kikuyu.  
Government officials denied the charge, linking the murder to the 
opposition.  In July two men were charged with Kahumbi's murder; at 
year's end their trials had not yet begun.   
 
Kenyan police used improper lethal force on several occasions in 
attempts to apprehend criminal suspects.  In a case that sparked 
nationwide protests in July, two administrative policemen mistook two 
electric company employees for thieves and shot and killed them.  The 
policemen were charged with murder and at year's end were awaiting 
trial.  Six other policemen faced murder charges in different cases.   
 
Over 800 persons died in prison from disease or lack of medical care.  
There was at least one prison death due to police brutality.  Sergeant 
Martin Obwong, a prison warder, died on March 18 shortly after being 
released from a Nairobi police station.  He had been arrested the 
previous evening after a bar room quarrel with a police officer.  Upon 
returning home, Obwong reportedly told his son that he had been beaten 
in custody.  In September a police corporal and a constable were charged 
with manslaughter in connection with Obwong's case.  At year's end, they 
had not yet come to trial.  In March the Kenyan High Court determined 
that a police reservist had acted in self-defense when he killed a 
homeless child in August 1994.  The reservist is currently the subject 
of an inquest in the murder of four other homeless children.  There were 
no developments in the case of the 1990 murder of former Foreign 
Minister Ouko.  Regarding the 1994 murder of Charles Njeru, a suspected 
thief who died in police custody in Karaba, a third police constable was 
arrested and charged in the case.  At year's end, he and two policemen 
arrested in 1994 remained in custody awaiting trial.  The Government 
said that it did not have sufficient evidence to bring charges in the 
1993 beating death of the nephew of Central Organization of Trade 
Unions' Secretary-General Joseph Mugalla.  The Government also said that 
there was no evidence to implicate police in the 1993 death of Jackson 
Mutonye, who died in custody after being arrested for an alleged raid on 
a government arms depot.  Two persons were convicted for the 1994 murder 
of opposition Member of Parliament (M.P.) Peter Nyongo's uncle.  In 
April both were given death sentences.   
 
Mob justice remained a serious problem.  The Kenya Human Rights 
Commission documented 84 cases between January and June where suspected 
criminals were murdered by angry crowds.  The Government condemned the 
practice but has taken no action to address the problem, nor arrested 
anyone who participated in the violence. 
 
   b.   Disappearance 
 
There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances.  There 
were no developments in the 1994 disappearance of Islamic Party of Kenya 
activist Mohammed Wekesa.   
 
   c.   Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or 
Punishment 
 
There continued to be credible reports that police resorted to torture 
and brutality, and at least 12 police officers were charged for such 
offenses.  In one serious incident police tortured and mistreated four 
suspected members of the February Eighteenth Movement (FEM), a small 
Kenyan guerrilla force based in Uganda (see Section 1.g.).  According to 
medical reports, one of the FEM suspects, Joseph Wekesa's left eardrum 
was ruptured, his back pierced, his arms burned, and his hands and feet 
beaten by police during his detention in February.  Wekesa's attorney 
claimed that he confessed to guerrilla activities to avoid further 
abuse. 
 
Another suspect, Richard Wasilwa, was slapped in the face, hit on the 
knees, and struck on the genitals by police.  A doctor reported that two 
other suspects, Moses Mukono and Frederick Wafula, sustained similar 
injuries in police custody.  Though Wasilwa, Mukono, and Wafula were 
eventually released, the courts did not order an investigation of their 
treatment in detention.   
 
Sixty-three members of the Mungiki religious sect arrested in December 
1994 for involvement in an illegal oathing ceremony alleged various 
forms of police abuse during their 10-month confinement (see Section 
2.c.).  One suspect lost an arm after police hung him from a tree during 
interrogation.  An attorney for the oathing suspects informed the court 
in September that police had subjected the defendants to unwarranted 
anal examinations in prison.  He also claimed that police placed them in 
toilet-flooded prison cells that formerly belonged to inmates with 
tuberculosis and scabies. 
 
The Government did not take action against policemen responsible for the 
abuse of 11 persons arrested in connection with Koigi Wa Wamwere's 
alleged police station raid in 1993.  Similarly, the Government failed 
to comply with a court order to discipline police officers who tortured 
the "Ndeiya Six" suspects, who in 1994 were acquitted of an alleged 1993 
assault on a government arms depot.  A senior government official 
indicated in October that internal police investigations in the Ndeiya 
Six case had concluded and that no police officers would be charged.  
The trial of Geoffrey Kuria Kariuki, a cousin of Koigi Wa Wamwere, who 
sustained head injuries during his 1994 arrest for alleged theft, was 
postponed in 1995 because he required brain surgery. 
 
On August 10, police failed to protect members of the Safina Political 
Party from a mob attack in Nakuru.  First, a crowd armed with whips and 
clubs set upon Safina Secretary-General Richard Leakey (a double leg 
amputee), Party Treasurer Njeri Kabeberi, and reporters at the Nakuru 
courthouse.  Prison warders later joined another crowd near the Nakuru 
prison in beating journalists and other Safina members.  Safina 
officials accused police and KANU supporters of involvement in the 
attacks.  Following an investigation ordered by the Attorney General, 
three suspected participants in the attacks were arrested and charged in 
September.  At year's end, they had not yet come to trial. 
 
In January Alice Maraga Ashioya, the widow of a former magistrate, told 
a court in Nyeri that she had confessed to her husband's murder after 
having been sexually abused by a female police officer during 
interrogation.  The judge rejected the confession, acquitted Ashioya, 
and criticized the police for misconduct.  In October Nairobi police 
officers arrested Mary Wangoi for alleged drunken behavior and beat her 
in custody, causing her to miscarry.  So far one policeman has been 
suspended in the course of police investigations into the incident.   
 
Prison conditions are life threatening, due in part to a lack of 
resources and in part to the Government's unwillingness to address 
deficiencies in the penal system.  Both male and female prisoners are 
subjected to inadequate water, poor diet, severe overcrowding, deficient 
health care, and substandard bedding.  Kenya's 78 prisons hold 
approximately 38,000 prisoners, 12,000 of whom are awaiting trial.  On 
average, prisons are overcrowded by 30 percent of holding capacity, 
although some facilities, such as the Nairobi remand prison, are 
overcrowded by several hundred percent.  There were over one hundred 
deaths in prison in 1995, most due to dysentery and diarrhea.  Kenyan 
prisons do not have resident doctors, and only one prison had a doctor 
permanently assigned to it.  Rape of both male and female prisoners 
continued to be a serious problem.  The Government does not permit 
independent monitoring of prison conditions. 
 
   d.   Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile 
 
The Constitution provides that most persons arrested or detained shall 
be brought before a court "as soon as is reasonably practicable," which 
would be within 24 hours of the arrest or from the start of detention.  
A 1988 constitutional amendment allows police to hold persons suspected 
of capital offenses, such as murder and treason, for 14 days before 
charging them in court.  A 1993 amendment to the Penal Code excludes 
weekends and holidays from this 14-day period.  In practice, however, 
suspects are sometimes held for 2 to 3 weeks or even longer before being 
brought to court.   
 
Persons arrested and charged are usually allowed access to their 
families and attorney promptly.  Detainees, however, may be visited by 
family members and attorneys only at the discretion of the State.  For 
those who have been charged, it is often possible to be released on bail 
with a bond or guarantees of return.   
 
The law does not stipulate the period within which the trial of a 
charged suspect must begin.  The Government has acknowledged cases where 
persons have been held in pretrial detention for several years, usually 
because of backlogs.  There were credible reports of pretrial detention 
periods in excess of 5 years.   
 
The Preservation of Public Security Act (PPSA) allows the State to 
detain a person indefinitely without charges or trial upon a 
determination that it is necessary for the "preservation of public 
security."  This includes "prevention and suppression of rebellion, 
mutiny, violence, intimidation, disorder and crime, unlawful attempts 
and conspiracies to overthrow the Government or the Constitution."  The 
Chief's Authority Act, leftover from the colonial period, empowers local 
officials called "chiefs" to arrest individuals and to restrict a 
person's movement without trial.  No persons were detained under the 
PPSA or the Chief's Authority Act in 1995. 
 
The task force on the Reform of Penal Law and Procedures, created by the 
Attorney General in 1993, continued its task of reviewing and proposing 
new statutes related to criminal investigation, arrest, detention, 
questioning, charge, and bail.  The Task Force's final report had not 
yet been submitted by year's end.   
 
The police continued to detain politicians, members of civic 
organizations, clergymen, journalists, and others who were critical of 
the Government.  As in 1994, the police usually held the detainees for 
several hours before releasing them without charge.  In July, for 
example, police detained three members of the unregistered Safina 
Political Party for 24 hours for speaking with Kenyatta University 
students about the new party.  In May police detained prominent Kikuyu 
M.P. Paul Muite, attorney Mirugi Kariuki, two Norwegian journalists, and 
a representative of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) for 11 
hours for visiting a site the authorities declared to be restricted.  In 
some cases, detainees were held for much longer periods.  In March 
police held former University of Nairobi student leader Robert Wafula 
for 57 days without charge to question him about the FEM movement.   
 
In January police arrested and charged opposition M.P. Njenga Mungai 
along with two other opposition M.P.'s, Francis Wanyange and Lwali 
Oyondi, for allegedly advocating violence against the Kalenjin tribe.  
The Government dropped the charges against Oyondi and Wanyange but kept 
Mungai in remand, denying his bail applications on three occasions.  
While in prison, Mungai was admitted to the hospital three times for 
dehydration and stomach complications; he was finally released on bail 
in April and at year's end was awaiting trial.  Attorneys for suspected 
members of the FEM claimed that their clients had been arrested as many 
as 8 months before appearing in court.   
 
Police also harassed and arrested opposition M.P.'s, usually on charges 
of some variation of sedition.  The authorities arrested and formally 
charged 9 opposition M.P.'s with sedition in 1995.  The Government 
dropped charges against 4 M.P.'s, and the other 5 were awaiting trial at 
year's end.  The 1994 case of one M.P., Stephen Ndichu, was still 
outstanding at year's end. 
 
In October Nairobi attorney Mbuthi Gathenji was arrested and charged on 
24 counts of publishing false and inflammatory statements.  The 
statements in question were testimonials about the 1991 ethnic clashes 
in Narok.  Gathenji had recorded, but not published, the statements in 
preparation for a suit on behalf of the clash victims.  Gathenji's trial 
had not begun by year's end.   
 
Police also continued to conduct mass arrests.  On March 14, police 
arrested roughly 300 persons in Nakuru in what the town Police 
Commissioner described as an attempt to rid the town of "unwanted 
elements."  All of those arrested paid fines for either illegal hawking 
or possessing homemade liquor.  On April 13, Nakuru police took 
approximately 350 people into custody following the murder of a local 
chief.  All but three were released the following day. 
 
The Government does not use exile as a means of political control.  
However, Sheik Khalid Balala, a former leader of the unregistered 
Islamic Party of Kenya, has remained in a European country for more than 
a year because Kenyan Embassy officials there have been unwilling to 
renew his passport.  In August Balala attempted to fly to Kenya but was 
prevented from boarding the plane by airline officials. 
 
   e.   Denial of a Fair Public Trial 
 
Although the Constitution provides for an independent judiciary, it is 
subject to executive branch influence in practice.  The President has 
extensive powers over appointments, including the Chief Justice, the 
Attorney General, and Appeals and High Court Judges.  The President can 
also dismiss judges and the Attorney General upon the recommendation of 
a special presidentially appointed tribunal.  Judges do not have life 
tenure but rather serve on a contract basis.  Two retired High Court 
judges told a lawyers' seminar in March that judges sometimes delivered 
sentences under the suasion of public comments and private 
recommendations by executive branch officials.   
 
The court system consists of a Court of Appeals, a High Court, and two 
levels of magistrates' courts, where most criminal and civil cases 
originate.  Judges hear all cases; there is no jury system.  Customary 
law is used as a guide in civil matters affecting persons of the same 
ethnic group as long as it does not conflict with statutory law.  In 
1989 High Court Justice Norbury Dugdale ruled that the "Bill of Rights" 
outlined in the Constitution was unenforceable; this decision reinforced 
the implicit power of the executive branch over the judiciary.  The 
decision has not been overruled. 
 
Civilians are tried publicly though some testimony may be held in 
secret.  There is a presumption of innocence, and defendants have the 
right to attend their trial, to confront witnesses, and to present 
witnesses and evidence.  Civilians can also appeal a verdict to the High 
Court and ultimately to the Court of Appeal.  Military personnel are 
tried by courts-martial, and verdicts may be appealed through military 
court channels.  The Chief Justice appoints attorneys for military 
personnel on a case by case basis. 
 
Defendants do not have a right to government-provided legal counsel, 
except in capital cases.  For noncapital charges free legal aid is 
usually not available outside Nairobi.  As a result, poor people who do 
not have an attorney may be found guilty for lack of an articulate 
defense.  Although defendants generally have access to an attorney in 
advance of trial, defense lawyers do not always have access to 
government-held evidence, since the Government can plead the state 
security secrets clause as a basis for withholding evidence. 
 
In August the Government raised court fees for the filing and hearing of 
cases by between 200 and 500 percent.  For instance, the daily rate for 
arguing a case before a judge rose from approximately $10 to $50.  The 
Law Society of Kenya and other attorneys strongly opposed the increase, 
saying the new charges would deny the majority of citizens access to the 
courts. 
 
The Constitution entitles the Attorney General to take over and 
discontinue proceedings in private prosecution cases.  Using his 
authority, Attorney General Amos Wako argued that citizens must first 
notify his office before initiating private prosecution.  In May Wako 
used this authority to terminate a public corruption case filed against 
Vice-President George Saitoti by opposition M.P. Raila Odinga.  He also 
used the provision to stop an incitement case brought against Local 
Government Minister William Ntimama by opposition activist Ngengi 
Muigai. 
 
After charging 47 persons with suspected membership in FEM, the 
Government dropped the charges against 28 of them.  Four were convicted, 
one of whom subsequently died in prison, and 15 others still faced 
charges at year's end.  Human rights activist Josephine Nyawira Ngengi 
is also being tried under questionable circumstances.  Ms. Ngengi and 13 
others have been accused of violent robbery, a capital offense.  Despite 
the fact that Attorney General Amos Wako twice terminated criminal 
proceedings against the group for lack of evidence, Ms. Ngengi and the 
other accused were arrested again in June for the same offense.  At 
year's end, her trial was ongoing and the case had adjourned several 
times because police officers had not complied with a summons to appear 
to testify.   
 
The trial of Koigi Wa Wamwere and his 3 codefendants, who were charged 
with armed robbery in connection with an alleged raid on a Nakuru police 
station in 1993, concluded in October.  International observers 
concluded that the prosecutor did not produce credible evidence tying 
Wamwere to the alleged raid.  Despite the lack of evidence, the chief 
magistrate found Wamwere and two of his codefendants guilty of unarmed 
robbery and sentenced the three men to two concurrent 4-year prison 
terms plus three strokes of the cane.  The fourth defendant was 
acquitted of all charges.  Throughout 1995 Wamwere's defense attorneys 
established convincing alibis and showed that the State had tampered 
with evidence.  The presiding magistrate, William Tuiyot, interfered 
with the proceedings in a way that called into question Wamwere's 
ability to receive a fair trial.  For example, in July Wamwere's 
attorneys withdrew from the case when Magistrate Tuiyot halted their 
final summation because of its political content.  In August and 
September, prison warders twice prevented Wamwere from meeting with his 
attorneys.  International observers and human rights groups consider 
Wamwere and his codefendants to be political prisoners.  Wamwere's 
defense attorneys began the appeals process in December.   
  
   f.   Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 
 
The Constitution permits searches without warrants in certain instances 
"to promote the public benefit."  The Police Act clarifies that 
policemen may enter a home forcibly if the time required to obtain a 
search warrant would "prejudice" their investigations.  Although 
security officers generally obtain search warrants, they occasionally 
conduct searches without warrants to apprehend suspected criminals or to 
seize property believed to be stolen.  The courts have admitted evidence 
obtained without search warrants to support convictions. 
 
There were several instances during the year where police conducted 
searches or seizures without warrants.  While apprehending members of 
Mwangaza Trust in early April for holding an allegedly illegal meeting, 
police searched the Trust offices without a warrant and confiscated 
several documents.  In late April, roughly 20 armed police officers 
twice searched the residence of opposition M.P. Njehu Gatabaki without a 
warrant (see Section 1.a.).  In May Nakuru police seized letters written 
by Koigi Wa Wamwere from the car of his defense attorney, opposition 
M.P. Paul Muite.   
 
Security forces continued to employ various means of surveillance, 
including a network of informants to monitor the activities of 
opposition politicians and human rights advocates.  A prominent local 
attorney stated that she had been followed by police in February after 
representing suspected members of the February Eighteenth Movement.  
Prior to the raid on the Mwangaza offices, police had trailed several 
Trust members.  In May police followed opposition M.P.'s to a private 
dinner hosted by fellow M.P. Joab Omino and then dispersed the group for 
having allegedly convened an illegal meeting. 
 
Although Kenyans are free to choose their political affiliation, the 
Government continued to discourage civil servants from membership in 
opposition parties.  An Assistant Minister in the Office of the 
President blamed opposition members in the civil service several times 
for the country's economic development problems.  In April the Public 
Service Commission gave early retirement to civil servant James Njeru 
after the Kajiado District Commissioner accused him of supporting the 
Democratic Party.   
 
   g.   Use of Excessive Force and Violations of Humanitarian Law in 
Internal Conflicts 
 
Substantial evidence indicates that high-level government officials were 
complicit in instigating and promoting the ethnic clashes of 1991-1994, 
which claimed over 1,000 lives and displaced 250,000 people.  In April 
opposition activist Ngengi Muigai brought charges against Local 
Government Minister William Ntimama for having allegedly incited the 
Maasai tribe during the 1991 clashes in Narok.  Attorney General Amos 
Wako acted on his constitutional authority to quash the charges before 
the trial commenced (see Section 1.e.). 
 
Ethnic-related violence continued in January, but there were no other 
reported incidents of ethnic violence the rest of the year.  On January 
6, Kipsigi warriors attacked a displaced persons camp in Thessalia and 
seriously injured three people with arrows; the camp was demolished.  On 
January 11, 10 people were killed in clashes in Longonot.  Homes were 
burned, and the inhabitants, mostly Kikuyu, were chased away.  There 
were unconfirmed reports that the attackers were brought into the area 
by helicopters.  On January 12, a National Council of Catholic Churches 
(NCCK) camp in Eldoret was raided by administrative police, who chased 
away approximately 65 families.  The NCCK, assisted by the U.N. 
Development Program (UNDP), was in the process of moving the displaced 
persons from the camp after the District Officer had ordered the camp 
closed on January 2.  The Government made no arrests in any of these 
cases. 
 
In early January displaced persons from the Maela Camp, who were 
dispersed by the Government in late December 1994, were again forcibly 
moved by the district administration to unknown locations in Central 
Province.  Those remaining in Maela were harassed in nightly attacks by 
the Administrative Police and relief support was not allowed into the 
area.  Leading elders accused the Government of attempting to starve 
them out.  Many of the displaced, however, remained in Maela throughout 
the year, living in the market center and in private homes. 
 
In October reports surfaced about renewed clashes in the Rift Valley 
between Kalenjin subtribes.  Although these clashes were unconfirmed, 
reliable sources reported that tensions in the area were high and that 
numerous injuries had resulted from the fighting.  In November reports 
of cattle raids in the Turkana area between the Pokots and the Turkana, 
which were viewed by many as ethnically related, led to the deaths of 
over 40 people and the theft of thousands of cattle.  Government 
officials, particularly Minister Ntimama, continued to make inciteful 
and threatening statements against non-Maasai living in the Rift Valley.   
 
The UNDP program to assist thousands of displaced clash victims came to 
a virtual standstill in January.  The program has not resumed operations 
due to the lack of government support.   
 
In one incident with ethnic and political undertones, in October riots 
broke out in Nairobi's Kibera slum, leaving two dead and scores injured.  
The fighting was reportedly between the Nubian and Luo population in the 
slum.   
 
During the year the Government blamed isolated attacks against police 
stations, banks, and villages on the self-proclaimed FEM, a small Kenyan 
force based in western Uganda that opposes President Moi's Government.  
When, for example, an estimated 200 armed assailants killed 2 officers 
during a raid on police headquarters in Sirisia (Western province) in 
March, the Provincial Commissioner attributed the attack to FEM 
guerrillas.  Similarly, an Assistant Minister in the Office of the 
President said FEM operatives were responsible for several Nairobi bank 
robberies.   
 
Section 2   Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 
 
   a.   Freedom of Speech and Press 
 
Although the Constitution provides for freedom of speech and the press, 
the Government has interpreted broadly colonial-era sedition and libel 
laws in order to limit free expression (see Section 1.d.).  The 
Government has used these provisions to deny opposition parties the 
right of free speech.  For example, in February President Moi instructed 
police to arrest anyone who insulted him, and three opposition M.P.'s, 
James Orengo, Linus Polo, and Njehu Gatabaki, were later arrested and 
charged with sedition for allegedly disparaging the President.  Security 
forces and local administration officials also used these provisions as 
a pretext to disperse opposition rallies to prevent speakers from 
criticizing the Government.  Despite these forms of obstruction, civic 
organizations and the opposition continued to present their views to the 
public. 
 
The print media include three daily newspapers that report on national 
politics.  The Nation is the country's largest newspaper and carries 
articles critical of government policies.  In August the second largest 
daily, the Standard, was sold to an investment group with links to the 
Government.  Although the new management has pledged to maintain the 
Standard's independent editorial policy, KANU party stalwarts have 
reportedly tried to interfere in the paper's editorial process.  The 
third daily newspaper, the Kenya Times, reflects KANU party views.  
Weekly newspapers and magazines, many of which are more openly critical 
of the Government, also have substantial audiences.  Newspaper and 
magazine editors continued to feel varying degrees of government 
pressure to self-censor, particularly on such topics as President Moi's 
family or corruption involving his advisors.   
 
On the whole, the print media remained vibrant and independent, although 
government harassment of the press increased.  During the year, one 
journalist was arrested for false reporting, three were detained by 
police for questioning, and at least six were assaulted by security 
officials.  In August a group of armed administrative policemen and an 
assistant chief beat three Nation reporters, stole their equipment and 
money, and threatened to shoot them when they visited a shanty village 
in Nairobi.  City police promised to investigate the incident but have 
not yet released their findings.  One Nation bureau chief was acquitted 
of publishing false reports concerning the 1994 doctors' strike. 
 
In early February, unidentified assailants firebombed the offices of 
Finance, a magazine published by opposition M.P. Njehu Gatabaki.  No 
arrests were made.  On April 27, a police squad raided Colourprint 
Press, the company that produces Finance, and arrested its director, 
Anil Vidyarthi.  The squad confiscated plates for the magazine's April 
edition, which had alleged President Moi's involvement in the 1990 
murder of former Foreign Minister Robert Ouko.  The squad also 
immobilized a printing machine.  Vidyarthi and Gatabaki were charged on 
April 28 with sedition and at year's end were still on trial.  Both 
Colourprint and Finance have continued to operate, however.   
 
Radio is the medium through which most citizens get news.  The 
Government controls the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), which 
operates the country's only radio station, its affiliate television 
station, and a new cable television station.  KBC radio and television 
typically do not criticize the Government, give a large share of news 
time to government or ruling party functions, and neglect to give equal 
reporting to opposition activities.  Members of KANU own another 
television station, the Kenya Television Network, which airs news 
programs with more balanced political coverage.  A government supporter 
owns a second cable television network.  The Minister of Information 
continued to delay action on numerous television and radio license 
applications while awaiting recommendations on media liberalization from 
the Attorney General's Task Force on the Press. 
 
Representatives of the international media are generally free to operate 
in Kenya.  However, throughout the year the Government temporarily 
impounded issues of the Economist and the International Herald Tribune 
that reported on Kenya's human rights situation.  In March Minister of 
Information Johnstone Makau threatened to deport reporters for Time, 
Newsweek, and the Washington Post for writing articles critical of 
President Moi.  Makau subsequently permitted the reporters to stay, 
claiming falsely that they had agreed to correct mistakes in their 
articles.  In May two Norwegian journalists were arrested and charged 
for photographing the police station that Koigi Wa Wamwere allegedly 
raided in 1993; they departed the country after posting bail (see 
Section 1.d.). 
 
The Government continued its ban on a number of books, including a 
Kiswahili play based on George Orwell's "Animal Farm," and a number of 
works by emigre Kenyan author Ngugi Wa Thiong'o.  In May the Nakuru 
District Commissioner refused to license the staging of a Thiong'o play, 
even though the play was not actually banned. 
 
Contrary to previous years, the Government did not overtly pressure 
university students and faculty to support the ruling party.  However, 
in August police detained temporarily the Dean of the University of 
Nairobi Faculty of Law for discussing political issues with opposition 
supporters.  There were also  notable clashes between the Government and 
the universities in July and November, when police forcefully dispersed 
student demonstrations against unsatisfactory dormitory conditions and 
increases in tuition. 
 
   b.   Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 
 
Freedom of assembly is provided for in the Constitution but is seriously 
limited by the Public Order Act, which gives the authorities power to 
control public gatherings.  This act prohibits meetings or processions 
of 10 or more persons without a license from the District Commissioner.  
In theory the law does not apply to persons meeting for "social, 
cultural, charitable, recreational, religious, professional, commercial, 
or industrial purposes."  In practice, meetings under almost all 
categories are subjected to the Public Order Act. 
 
Throughout the year the Government restricted the right of peaceful 
assembly by refusing to license meetings.  The three major opposition 
parties--FORD-Kenya (FORD-K), FORD-Asili (FORD-A), and the Democratic 
Party (DP)--estimated that they were denied permits for public 
gatherings more than a half dozen times each.  The Government 
occasionally denied licenses to KANU as well.   
 
The Government also disrupted both licensed and unlicensed opposition 
gatherings.  In July police fired shots in the air to disperse a rally 
conducted by FORD-Asili M.P.'s during the parliamentary by-election 
campaign for the Kipipiri Constituency.  In August a procession by FORD-
K M.P. Raila Odinga and opposition supporters in Suba District broke up 
when police attacked participants with sugarcane stalks and fired guns 
in the air.  In September police scattered a Democratic Party rally in 
Kirinyaga by firing tear gas and clubbing party members. 
 
Government officials and opposition leaders warned against meetings by 
rival parties in their home districts.  For example, in January seven 
opposition M.P.'s declared Webuye a FORD-Kenya zone and warned KANU 
activists to stay out of the area.  In August Local Government Minister 
William Ntimama told a public rally that a planned FORD-Asili meeting in 
Narok would be a provocation of the Maasai community.   
 
Police broke up gatherings by nonpolitical groups as well.  In February 
antiriot police in Murang'a District disrupted a Catholic procession 
protesting the ban on Inooro, a local diocesan newsletter (see Section 
2.c.).  The priest who led the march was charged with incitement and at 
year's end was on trial. 
 
The Societies Act governs freedom of association; it states that every 
association must be registered or exempted from registration by the 
Registrar of Societies.  Twelve political parties are currently 
registered under this statute:  KANU, FORD-K, FORD-A, the DP, the Social 
Democratic Party, the Kenya Social Congress, the Kenya National 
Congress, the Party of Independent Candidates of Kenya, the Kenya 
National Democratic Alliance, the Social Democratic Party, Labor Party 
Democracy, and the National Development Party of Kenya.  Twenty-three 
parties have been refused registration since 1992, while at year's end 
13 others had applications pending, including a party newly formed in 
1995 named Safina. 
 
Nongovernmental organizations (NGO's) are registered by the Government's 
NGO Coordination Board under the NGO Act.  In January a legal affairs 
NGO, the Center for Law Research International (CLARION), hosted a 
seminar on corruption in Kenya and published a report on the subject.  
The following month the NGO Coordination Board deregistered CLARION on 
the grounds that it had disseminated inaccurate material damaging to the 
Government.  CLARION sued for reinstatement in August, claiming that the 
Board had not made its decision according to lawful procedure.  At 
year's end the case had not yet come to court. 
 
In January the Government deregistered the Mwangaza Trust, an 
organization formed in 1994 for the purpose of promoting civic 
education, constitutional reform, democratization, and development.  The 
Government stated that the Trust had engaged in political activities, 
contrary to the terms of its registration.  Mwangaza members 
subsequently sued the Attorney General, arguing that, unlike societies 
and NGO's, trusts were not required to be registered.  In March the High 
Court allowed Mwangaza to continue functioning so long as it pursued its 
declared objectives.  The Trust, however, dissolved itself in May, 
enabling its principals to form the Safina Political Party. 
 
The Government continued to discourage civil servants from membership in 
opposition parties (see Section 1.f.).   
 
   c.   Freedom of Religion 
 
The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government 
generally does not infringe upon religious activities, except to require 
registration by new churches. 
 
However, in February the Government banned the publication of Inooro, a 
monthly newsletter published by the Catholic diocese of Murang'a.  The 
Kikuyu-language newsletter featured social commentary that was 
frequently critical of President Moi and KANU.  The Government order 
banning Inooro gave no justification for the decision.   
 
In October and November, 58 members of a Kikuyu Christian sect based in 
Laikipia were sentenced to 2 years and 9 months in prison for belonging 
to an illegal society and taking part in an unlawful assembly.  Sixty-
three sect members had been arrested in December 1994 for allegedly 
participating in an illegal oathing ceremony.  Throughout the trial the 
sect denied the charges and claimed that the Government had licensed its 
gatherings for the past 3 years.   
 
Muslim groups charged that the Government's refusal to register two 
Islamic teachers colleges in Mombasa and Murang'a demonstrated anti-
Muslim discrimination.  The Minister of Education denied the charge (see 
Section 5).   
 
   d.   Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, 
Emigration, and Repatriation 
 
By law, citizens may travel freely within the country.  However, the 
establishment of security zones following ethnic clashes in 1993 
restricted the ability of many Kenyans to travel, particularly to those 
parts of the Rift Valley most affected by clashes.  Although the 
security zones, such as in Molo and Burnt Forest, have not been 
officially lifted, access to the areas has been allowed in practice.  
Nonetheless, opposition party members and diplomats have been stopped at 
police road blocks and prevented from visiting some of the areas. 
 
The Government does not restrict emigration or foreign travel.  The law 
requires a woman to obtain her husband's or father's permission prior to 
obtaining a passport (see Section 5).  Civil servants must obtain 
government permission for international travel which was granted in all 
cases.   
 
There are 195,000 refugees, mostly Somali and Sudanese, living in camps, 
and an undetermined number living outside of camps in cities and rural 
areas.  Somalis account for about 75 percent of the total refugee 
population.  In the past year over 30,000 Somalis have returned home 
either through voluntary assisted repatriations or spontaneously 
following the closure of one the largest refugee camps near Mombasa.  
The Government cooperated with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees 
(UNHCR) and other humanitarian organizations in assisting refugees.  
However, the Government has insisted that camps in the heavily populated 
tourist areas of the coast be closed and refugees consolidated into two 
areas--the northeastern camps for Somalis and Kakuma camp for Sudanese 
and other nationalities. 
 
Violent rapes and attacks in the refugee camps, reported in 1993, 
decreased significantly.  However, incidents of rape of women and young 
girls continued to occur.  With the assistance of the UNHCR, Kenyan 
police response to these incidents improved during the year.  Acts of 
violence, including carjackings and banditry, still occur with some 
frequency in the camps and the Dadaab area, which sometimes led to the 
injury or death of some refugees and police personnel.  In August the 
Chief Inspector of Police in Dadaab, who had been lauded for his support 
and professionalism, was killed by bandits while in hot pursuit 
following a carjacking. 
 
Refugees living outside the camps are vulnerable to arrest, and those 
who purchase false identification documents and visas are even further 
at risk.  In December thousands of refugees, illegal aliens, visitors, 
as well as Kenyans were arrested in police sweeps, supposedly to target 
those involved in criminal activity in Nairobi.  Those arrested were 
held in a former refugee camp in Nairobi in crowded rooms with no 
facilities.  The UNHCR was allowed to facilitate the release of refugees 
who were ordered to camps, but other aliens, many with legitimate 
documents, were still being held at the end of the year.  There were no 
reports of expulsion of those having a valid claim to refugee status. 
 
Section 3   Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens to 
Change Their Government 
 
The Constitution provides citizens with the right to change their 
government through free and fair multiparty elections, but their ability 
to do so has not yet been fully demonstrated at the presidential level.  
The 1992 presidential and parliamentary elections were marked by 
violence, intimidation, fraud, and other irregularities, but opposition 
candidates nevertheless won 63 percent of the vote.   
 
President Moi's election victory has allowed him and his KANU Party to 
dominate the political process.  At the local level the President 
exercises sweeping power over the political structure.  The President 
appoints both the powerful provincial and district commissioners and a 
multitude of district and village officials.   

At the national level, the Constitution authorizes the President to 
dissolve the legislature and prohibits Assembly debate on issues under 
consideration by the courts.  This law, in conjunction with the Speaker 
of the Assembly's ruling that the President's conduct is inappropriate 
for parliamentary debate, has limited the scope of deliberation on 
controversial political issues.  M.P.'s are entitled to introduce 
legislation, but in practice it is the Attorney General who does so.  As 
the head of KANU, which controls 119 of the Parliament's 200 seats, the 
President is also able to influence significantly the legislative 
agenda.   
 
The Government continued to harass and intimidate the political 
opposition, and the opposition has had difficulty competing with KANU.  
The Government's monopoly on the electronic media has prevented 
opposition parties from reaching television and radio audiences.  The 
Public Order Act has kept opposition leaders from meeting their 
supporters (see Section 2.b.), and colonial-era sedition laws restrict 
freedom of expression.  The Electoral Commission, which oversees all 
elections, lacks statutory independence, since its members are appointed 
by the President.  The opposition has also claimed that voter 
constituencies are apportioned in favor of KANU, which has resulted in a 
KANU parliamentary majority despite only receiving one-third of the 
popular vote.  At the local level, officials have demonstrated 
partiality to the ruling party during parliamentary by-elections.  For 
example, in June, the district administration in Machakos distributed 
food supplies at a KANU rally several days before a by-election.   
 
Seven parliamentary by-elections were held in 1995 due to the deaths or 
disqualifications of sitting M.P.'s.  The elections were generally free 
and fair, although journalists and diplomatic observers reported 
anomalies in voter registers as well as incidents of vote-buying, 
bribery, and violence.  During the June by-election in Changamwe, young 
opposition supporters stoned vehicles believed to be ferrying KANU 
voters and burned two minivans after removing the passengers.  In the 
December by-election in Nyatike, KANU supporters assaulted the FORD-K 
candidate and attacked FORD-K representatives inside polling stations.   
 
Although there are no legal restrictions on the participation of women 
in politics, traditional attitudes circumscribe the role of women in 
politics.  There were two female permanent secretaries in the Government 
and seven female M.P.'s.  President Moi also appointed Kenya's first 
woman cabinet minister.  Within the opposition, women figure most 
significantly in the Democratic Party, where 25 percent of the Party's 
national office holders are women. 
 
Members of all tribal and ethnic groups participate in the Government 
and political parties.  However, since white Kenyan paleontologist 
Richard Leakey announced his involvement in the Safina Political Party, 
President Moi repeatedly cautioned against white Kenyans' participation 
in political activities.  Numerous tribes--including Kisiis, Merus, 
Embus, Kambas, Kikuyus, Taitas, Kalenjins, Luhyas, Turkanas, Somalis, 
Maasai, Giriamas, and Luos--are represented in the President's Cabinet.  
However, the President is widely reputed to rely on an inner circle of 
advisers drawn mostly from his Kalenjin tribe.   
 
Section 4   Government Attitude Regarding International and 
Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights 
 
Kenya has several well-organized and vocal human rights organizations.  
Two groups, the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and Release 
Political Prisoners, not only produce a regular series of often critical 
reports on Kenya's human rights record but also organize activities to 
publicize their causes.  The Institute for Education in Democracy 
continues to monitor parliamentary by-elections with cooperation from 
the Electoral Commission.  Legal organizations such as the Public Law 
Institute, the Kenya Law Society, the International Commission of 
Jurists, and the International Federation of Women Lawyers cover human 
rights issues as a major priority.  A new organization, the Citizens 
Coalition for Constitutional Change, has lobbied on behalf of 
constitutional reform.  A large pool of Kenyan attorneys conduct pro 
bono representation of defendants. 
 
In March there was an arson attempt at the offices of the Kituo Cha 
Sheria (KCS - Legal Advice Center) located along the same hallway as the 
KHRC.  The arsonists shot two security guards who were working at the 
KCS offices at the time of the attack.  The arson attempts are believed 
to have been politically motivated.  It is not clear whether the 
Commission was also a target.   
 
President Moi and government officials continued to criticize domestic 
and international human rights NGO's.  However, some domestic human 
rights organizations have successfully cooperated with government 
officials on issues like women's rights.  The Government also allowed 
representatives of international human rights NGO's, such as the 
Secretary General of Amnesty International, to visit Kenya.   
 
Section 5   Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Disability, 
Language, or Social Status 
 
The Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of a person's 
"race, tribe, place of origin or residence or other local connection, 
political opinions, color, or creed."   
 
   Women 
 
Violence against women is a serious and widespread problem.  The most 
recent police statistics on the subject were released in 1994 and showed 
that in 1992 there were 454 cases of rape, 136 cases of attempted rape, 
343 cases of indecent assault, 407 cases of defilement (e.g., child 
molestation), and 14 cases of incest.  The statistics are probably 
underreported, however, since social mores deter women from going 
outside their families or ethnic groups to report sexual abuse.  The 
Government has condemned violence against women, and the law carries 
penalties up to life imprisonment for rape.  Still, the rate of 
prosecution remains low because of cultural inhibitions against 
discussing sex, the fear of retribution, the disinclination of police to 
intervene in domestic disputes, and the unavailability of doctors who 
might otherwise provide the necessary evidence for conviction.  
Furthermore, traditional culture permits a man to discipline his wife by 
physical means and is ambivalent about the seriousness of rape. 
 
The Constitution does not specifically address discrimination based on 
gender, and women continue to face both legal and de facto 
discrimination on several fronts.  For example, a woman is legally 
required to receive consent from her husband or father before obtaining 
a passport.  In practice a woman must also have her husband's or 
father's approval to secure a bank loan.  Also, women can legally work 
at night only in the export processing zones (EPZ's).  According to 
Pension Law, a widow loses her work pension upon remarriage, whereas a 
man does not.  Not only do women have difficulty moving into 
nontraditional fields, but they are also promoted more slowly than men 
and bear the brunt of retrenchments. 
 
Kenya's Law of Succession, which governs inheritance rights, provides 
for equal consideration of male and female children.  In practice, most 
inheritance issues do not come before the courts.  Women are often 
excluded from inheritance settlements or given smaller shares than male 
claimants.  In addition, a widow cannot be the sole administrator of her 
husband's estate unless she has her children's consent. 
 
Societal discrimination is most apparent in rural areas, where women 
account for 75 percent of the agricultural work force.  Rural families 
are more reluctant to invest in educating girls than in educating boys, 
especially at the higher levels.  The number of boys and girls in school 
are roughly equal at the primary and secondary levels, but men outnumber 
women almost two to one in higher education, and literate men 
significantly outnumber literate women. 
 
The nation's most well-known women's rights and welfare organization is 
Maendeleo Ya Wanawake ("Development of Women," in Kiswahili), which was 
established as a nonpolitical NGO during the colonial era but is 
reportedly informally controlled by the Government.   
 
   Children 
 
The May 1994 report of the Attorney General's Task Force on Children 
recommended both pragmatic and legal measures to safeguard the rights of 
children.  The Government drafted legislation, which is currently being 
debated in Parliament, to establish a National Council of Children's 
Services to supervise the planning and financing of child welfare 
activities.  The bill also revamps the juvenile court system.  However, 
both KANU and opposition M.P.'s, as well as a number of local NGO's, 
have faulted the bill for portraying child offenders as criminals in 
need of discipline.  Opponents of the bill also have noted that it does 
not address homelessness, female circumcision, forced labor, sexual 
abuse, and education. 
 
Economic displacement and population growth continued to fuel the 
problem of homeless street children.  Media reports place the number of 
such children nationwide in the tens of thousands, and the Government 
estimates that their number is growing at an annual rate of 10 percent.  
According to the Attorney General's Task Force, these children are 
typically involved in theft, drug trafficking, assault, trespass, 
defilement, and property damage.  There have been credible reports that 
police have treated these children inhumanely (see Section 1.a.).   
 
Despite the Government's stated opposition, female genital muilation 
(FGM), which is widely condemned by international health experts as 
damaging to both physical and psychological health, remains widespread, 
particularly among Kenya's nomadic peoples.  It is usually performed at 
an early age.  Health officials estimate that roughly 50 percent of 
females nationwide have undergone this procedure.  A Maendeleo Ya 
Wanawake official stated in January that the percentage in some 
districts of the Eastern, Nyanza, and Rift Valley provinces was as high 
as 80 percent. 
 
Child rape and molestation have also emerged as significant problems.  
Local newspapers reported roughly 20 court cases where females below the 
age of 15 were raped.  The rapists in question were typically older than 
40 and received prison sentences of between 5 and 20 years, plus several 
strokes of the cane.  In late September, two men were sentenced to life 
in prison for raping a minor. 
 
   People with Disabilities 
 
Government policies do not discriminate against people with disabilities 
in employment, education, or other state services.  Disabled persons are 
frequently denied driving licenses, however.  There is also no mandated 
provision of accessibility for the disabled to public buildings or 
transportation. 
 
   National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities 
 
According to the 1989 Government census, whose figures were released in 
May 1994, the Kikuyu are the largest ethnic community, comprising 20.8 
percent of the population.  The Luhya, Luo, Kamba, and Kalenjin (an 
amalgamation of nine small tribes) are the next largest, each making up 
over 11 percent of the population. 
 
The Government continued to discriminate against Rift Valley Kikuyus.  
According to opposition politicians and local human rights bodies, 
provincial authorities have denied national identification cards to a 
substantial number of Kikuyu youths, even though they and, in many 
cases, their parents have been born and raised in the Rift Valley.  
Without identification cards these youths cannot marry, attend 
universities, obtain employment, or register to vote.  In addition, 
Local Government Minister William Ntimama stated again in 1995 that 
Kikuyus displaced from Enosupukia by the ethnic clashes would not be 
allowed to return.  He also warned that Kikuyus applying for 
identification cards in the Narok area were attempting to steal 
political power from the local Maasai community.  A series of talks 
between Kikuyu and Kalenjin elders that focused on reconciliation and 
resettlement possibilities ended abruptly when the Democratic Party won 
the September by-election in the Kikuyu constituency of Kipipiri.   
 
There continued to be tensions between Asians, that is Kenyans of 
subcontinent descent, and black Kenyans, and Asians are subject to 
official and societal discrimination.  Black Kenyans generally resent 
Asians because of their affluence, their seeming reluctance to 
assimilate African culture, and to employ black Kenyans in management 
positions in their enterprises.  The acquittal of an Indian police 
reservist in the shooting death of an African street child and the 
reservists alleged involvement in the murders of other street children 
have heightened these preexisting racial tensions.   
 
The Government singled out ethnic Somalis as the only ethnic group in 
Kenya required to carry an additional form of identification proving 
that they are Kenyan citizens.  Ethnic Somalis, who are overwhelmingly 
Muslim, must still produce upon demand their Kenyan identification card 
and a second identification card verifying "screening."  Both cards are 
also required in order to apply for a passport.  In June the police made 
sweeps through a Somali community in Nairobi, ostensibly in search of 
illegal aliens.  Innocent Somali Kenyans were among those arrested.  
Somali Kenyans were also victimized during a December sweep.  Many were 
harassed or arrested and paid as much as $50 (2,500 Ksh) to be released.  
The continued presence of Somali refugees in Kenya has exacerbated the 
problems faced by Kenyan Somalis. 
 
Section 6   Worker Rights 
 
   a.   The Right of Association 
 
Except for central government civil servants, including medical 
personnel and university academic staff, all workers are free to join 
unions of their own choosing.  The law provides that as few as seven 
workers may establish a union, provided that objectives of the union do 
not contravene the law and another union is not already representative 
of the employees in question.  The Government may deregister a union, 
but the Registrar of Trade Unions must give the union 60 days to 
challenge the deregistration notice; an appeal of the Registrar's final 
decision may be brought before the High Court. 
 
President Moi deregistered the Kenya Civil Servants Union in 1980; since 
1989 the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) has sought to 
reverse this decision.   
 
There are at least 33 unions in Kenya representing approximately 350,000 
workers, less than 20 percent of the country's industrial work force.  
Except for the 150,000 teachers who belong to the Kenya National Union 
of Teachers, which the Government has registered, all other unions are 
affiliated with one central body, the COTU.  The Government created COTU 
in 1965 as the successor to both the Kenya Federation of Labor and the 
Kenya African Workers Congress.  The 1965 decree establishing COTU gives 
the President power to remove from office the central body's three 
senior leaders and grants nonvoting membership on the Executive Board to 
a representative of the Ministry of Labor as well as of KANU.  A 1993 
High Court decision nullified the 1993 abortive attempt to install 
leaders more acceptable to the Government, but the plotters refused to 
vacate COTU headquarters.  Following a 1994 Appellate Court order, 
however, the Registrar of Trade Unions agreed to recognize the old COTU 
leadership.  The elected leadership remained in office through 1995.  
Although the Board is comprised of the leadership of affiliated unions, 
it is not uncommon for KANU to provide funding and other support for the 
election of senior union officials.  In 1995 several trade union leaders 
from affiliated unions reinvigorated their efforts to bring about 
democratic reforms in the election and appointment of labor officials, 
separation from the Government, and the establishment of links with any 
Kenyan political party that supports workers' rights.   
 
The Trade Disputes Act permits workers to strike provided that 21 days 
have elapsed following the submission of a written letter to the 
Minister of Labor.  The military, police, prison guards, and members of 
the National Youth Service are precluded by law from striking.  Other 
civil servants, like their private sector counterparts, can strike 
following the 21-day notice period (28 days if it is an essential 
service, e.g., water, health, education, or air traffic control).  
During this 21- day period, the Minister may either mediate the dispute, 
nominate the arbitrator, or refer the matter to the Industrial Court, a 
body of five judges appointed by the President, for binding arbitration.  
Once a dispute is referred to either mediation, fact-finding, or 
arbitration, any subsequent strike is illegal.  However, Section 28 of 
the Act gives the Minister of Labor broad discretionary power to 
determine the legality of any strike.  The Minister in 1994 used this 
power to declare several strikes illegal, although the required notice 
had been given.  The Minister did not declare any strikes illegal in 
1995.  Several unions including municipal workers and some civil 
servants held brief strikes for back or increased wages.   
 
Internationally, COTU is affiliated with both the Organization of 
African Trade Union Unity and the Internal Confederation of Free Trade 
Unions.  Many of its affiliates are linked to international trade 
secretariats. 
 
   b.   The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively 
 
While not having the force of law, the 1962 Industrial Relations 
Charter, executed by the Government, COTU, and the Federation of Kenya 
Employers, gives workers the right to engage in legitimate trade union 
organizational activities. Both the Trade Disputes Act and the Charter 
authorize collective bargaining between unions and employers.  Wages and 
conditions of employment are established in negotiations between unions 
and management.  In 1994 the Government relaxed wage policy guidelines 
to permit wage increases of up to 100 percent and renegotiation of 
collective agreements.  Collective bargaining agreements must be 
registered with the Industrial Court in order to guarantee adherence to 
these guidelines. 
 
The Trade Disputes Act makes it illegal for employers to intimidate 
workers.  Employees wrongfully dismissed for union activities are 
generally awarded damages in the form of lost wages by the Industrial 
Court; reinstatement is not a common remedy.  More often, aggrieved 
workers have found alternative employment in the lengthy period prior to 
the hearing of their cases. 
 
Legislation authorizing the creation of EPZ's was passed in 1990.  The 
EPZ Authority decided that local labor laws, including the right to 
organize and bargain collectively, would apply in the EPZ's, although it 
grants many exemptions in practice.  For example, the Government waived 
aspects of the law that prevent women from working at night (see Section  
 
6.e.).  Worker and some government officials criticized health and 
safety conditions in the EPZ's.   
 
   c.   Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor 
 
The Constitution proscribes slavery, servitude, and forced labor.  
However, under the Chiefs' Authority Act, a local authority can require 
people to perform community services in an emergency, although this did 
not occur in 1995.  The International Labor Organization (ILO) Committee 
of Experts has found these and other provisions of Kenyan law to 
contravene ILO Conventions 29 and 105 concerning forced labor, but noted 
the Government's efforts to review the Chiefs' Authority Act. 
 
   d.   Minimum Age for Employment of Children 
 
The Employment Act of 1976 makes the employment in industry of children 
under the age of 16 illegal.  This Act applies neither to the 
agricultural sector, where about 70 percent of the labor force is 
employed, nor to children serving as apprentices under the terms of the 
Industrial Training Act.  Ministry of Labor officers nominally enforce 
the minimum age statute.  Children often work as domestics in private 
homes (including those of relatives), in the informal sector, and in 
family businesses and farms.  Given the high levels of adult 
unemployment and underemployment, the employment of children in the 
formal industrial wage sector in violation of the Employment Act is not 
a significant problem. 
 
   e.   Acceptable Conditions of Work 
 
The legal minimum wage for blue collar workers in the wage sector varies 
by location, age, and skills, with 12 separate scales.  After a modest 
1994 wage increase and considerable appreciation of the Kenya shilling 
against the U.S. dollar, the lowest minimum wages were $34 (1,700 
shillings) per month in urban areas and $19.50 (955 shillings) in rural 
areas.  Workers in some enterprises claimed that employers forced them 
to work extra hours with no overtime pay.  Prices for basic commodities 
declined in mid-1995, but because of inflation the minimum wage was 
still insufficient to meet daily needs of a family.  Most workers relied 
on second jobs, subsistence farming, or the extended family for 
additional support. 
 
The Regulation of Wages and Conditions of Employment Act limits the 
normal workweek to 52 hours, although some categories of workers have a 
shorter workweek.  Nighttime employees, however, may be employed for up 
to 60 hours per week.  As is the case with respect to minimum age 
limitations, the act specifically excludes agricultural workers from its 
purview.  An employee in the nonagricultural sector is entitled to 1 
rest day per week.  There are also provisions for 1 month of annual 
leave and sick leave.  On overtime, the law provides that the total 
hours worked (i.e., regular time plus overtime) in any 2-week period for 
night workers may not exceed 144 hours; the limit is 120 hours for other 
workers.  The Ministry of Labor is tasked with enforcing these 
regulations, and reports of violations are few. 
 
The Factories Act of 1951 sets forth detailed health and safety 
standards; this act was amended in 1990 to encompass the agriculture, 
service, and government sectors.  The 65 health and safety inspectors 
attached to the Ministry of Labor's Directorate of Occupational Health 
and Safety Services have the authority to inspect factories and work 
sites.  As a result of the 1990 amendments, the Directorate's inspectors 
may now issue notices enjoining employers from practices or activities 
which involve a risk of serious personal injuries.  Previously, only 
magistrates were vested with this authority.  Such notices can be 
appealed to the Factories Appeals Court, a body of four members, one of 
whom must be a High Court judge.  The number of factory inspections 
increased dramatically in 1993 and subsequently have continued at a high 
level.   
 
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[end of document]

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