Cover Story

Panel Discussions

Volume 13, Issue 2  | 
Published 28/11/2016

In partnership with the Kenya Human Rights Commission,Society for International Development and Eastleigh Mall

The two public fora held in the Eastleigh Mall in partnership with the Kenya Human Rights Commission were also well attended and aroused much interest. The composition of the panellists ensured a combination of community voices, as well as Government and civil society representation. The dignitaries shared their knowledge and experience to highlight the challenges facing the community, the Government’s efforts and the steps taken to solve those challenges as well as the loopholes and inconsistencies in the law.


Ninety persons participated at the forum on Thursday, 14 July, ‘Security and Counter Terrorism’ was the topic, the panellists included were Ahmed Mohamed –Community Representative, Eastleigh; Abdullahi Boru Halakhe – East Africa Researcher, Amnesty International Kenya; Samson Omondi – Program Officer, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights; Tom Kagwe – Board Member, Independent Policing Oversight Authority and Hassan Omar – Senator, Mombasa County. During the debate the protection and promotion of human rights were underlined as a responsibility of the state. At the same time, the brutality and human right violations justified by the fight against terror; the lack of accountability and impunity; the lack of the presence of CSOs on the ground and their interaction with the community; the increasing xenophobia against Muslims and Somalis and the many human rights handling institutions; and the existence of a plethora of legislations were recognised as a challenge to national security.

Public Discussion Forum Security and Terrorism

On Wednesday, 20 July sixty participants discussed ‘Citizenship, Identity and Belonging’ with a panel comprising of Salah Abdi Sheikh - Kenyan writer and historian, the late Adam Hussein Adam - specialist on citizenship and statelessness -  and Hon. Ken Okoth, Member of Parliament for Kibra. During the debate it was emphasised that the issue of identity documents is a colonial relic and that corruption, deliberate discrimination and xenophobia have negatively affected the already-marginalised communities such as the Nubians, Somali Kenyans and those Kenyans residing in Northern Kenya. A young Somali woman gave a harrowing account of what life is like without an identity document. Others described the endless search for one.

Public Discussion Forum Citizenship and Identity

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