Kenya claims US, UK funding ‘terror” NGOs
The government has accused the United States, the UK and several European countries of funding organizations allegedly linked to al Shabaab terrorists.
Through the Ministry of Foreign affairs, the government has sent a protest note verbale to the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway, Germany and Finland, requesting that they stop funding Haki Africa and Muslims for Human Rights (Muhuri), both activist rights organisations.
A diplomatic note verbale is an unsigned communication in the third person. It is less formal than a note, also called a letter of protest, but more formal than an aide-memoire.
The government has de-registered the two organisations, saying they are working with terror groups, charges denied by both groups.
“The government has communicated to these Governments informing them of the status of these two CSOs and how they have been directly and or indirectly furthering al Shaabab activities in particular at the Kenyan Coast,” says a government intelligence brief seen yesterday by the Star.
“This has however not gone well with the four countries which maintain that the two organisations are involved in Counter Violent Extremists (CVE) activities.”
The British High Commission dismissed the claims, saying no evidence has been produced.
“We have seen nothing to be concerned about regarding these two organisations. We have also asked for evidence but nothing has been given to us,” British High Commission spokesman Stephen Burns yesterday told the Star.
US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec, in an opinion article published elsewhere in this newspaper, defended his government’s relationship with civil society groups in Kenya.
“The United States stands for the right of civil society to operate freely, and for the right of every Kenyan to take part in building Kenya’s future.
“We should all join hands with the civil society to build a more open, just, tolerant and prosperous world,” Godec wrote.
According to the Executive Director of the NGOs Coordination Board Fazul Mohammed, Haki Africa is not a registered entity under the NGOs Act of 1992, but an offshoot of Muhuri.
Fazul said Haki Africa opened an account with the NIC Bank without an authorization letter from the board as required by the Act.
The National Intelligence Service has said Haki Africa has been raising money that the organisation uses to bail out terror suspects.
“At one time in February 2014, Haki Africa paid Sh5 million to redeem a land title deed that had been given by the wife of the late Abubakar Sharif Ahmed, also known as Makaburi, as surety for his bond when he was arrested by police for his link to al Shabaab, the intelligence brief said.
Haki Africa is also accused of bailing out Khatib Kayuni, a terror suspect currently in remand at Shimo La Tewa maximum security prison in Mombasa.
The other organisation, Muhuri, is accused of accused of having close ties with al Shaabab cell members and disseminating extremist information. The NIS also says Muhuri has not filed tax returns for two years with the NGO board , a violation of the law.