Kenya: Public Benefit Organizations Act operationalised

ARTICLE 19 welcomes the operationalisation of the Public Benefit Organizations (PBO) Act 2013 by the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning, Mr. Mwangi Kiunjuri on 9 September, 2016. This commencement comes after protracted engagements between CSOs and the state, particularly the Devolution Ministry, about setting a date when the Act should come into force.

“We commend the Devolution Cabinet Secretary on the final operationalization of the PBO Act 2013 after a three year delay by prior Devolution Ministry officials. The law establishes a transparent regulatory and institutional framework within which Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) can operate,” said Henry Maina, Regional Director of ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa.

The law encourages public benefit organizations to maintain high standards of governance and management through effective self-regulation. Constitutionally, the Act is in line with the Spirit of Article 36 of the Constitution which guarantees the freedom of association, which includes the right to form, join, or participate in the activities of an association of any kind.

“It was improper for the former Cabinet Secretary for Devolution to stand in the way of the commencement of a law that was passed by parliament and assented to by the president in 2013,” added Maina.

Civil society groups, including NGOs, remain a critical voice in defending the rights of all Kenyans and the operationalization of this law heralds an improved working relationship between the government and PBOs.

ARTICLE 19 hopes that the framework for collaboration between government and PBOs as outlined in Section 67 of the Act will be enforced to actualize principled partnership between PBOs and the government at all levels.

FOR MEDIA INTERVIEWS: Please contact Henry Maina, ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa, [email protected]