Last Updated: Friday, 27 November 2015, 12:04 GMT

U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1994 - Kenya

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 30 January 1995
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1994 - Kenya, 30 January 1995, available at: [accessed 28 November 2015]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


After 9 years as a single-party state led by the Kenya Africa National Union (KANU), a 1991 constitutional amendment restored multiparty democracy. However, President Daniel Arap Moi and his KANU party continued to dominate the political process. In addition to his role as President, Moi also heads the military, university, civil service, and provincial, district, and local governance systems. KANU controls a majority of the National Assembly's 200 seats.

The large internal security apparatus includes the police Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the paramilitary General Services Unit (GSU), and the Directorate of Security and Intelligence (DSI). The CID and DSI investigate criminal activity and also monitor persons the State considers subversive. The internal security apparatus committed abuses against suspected criminals (including street children) and continued to harass opposition politicians and critics of the Government. City council security officers, known as "Askaris," also committed abuses against licensed vendors.

The economy includes a well-developed private sector in trade and light manufacturing as well as a strong agricultural sector that provides food for local consumption and substantial exports of coffee, tea, and other commodities. Tourism remained the top foreign exchange earner. The 1993 economic reform program has slowed inflation and expanded trade, while price controls have been eliminated, and the official exchange rate has aligned with the free market rate. Future challenges to the country's continued improvement are privatization of state-owned enterprises and civil service reform. Although the population growth rate declined from 3.7 percent to 2.9 percent between 1989 and 1993, unemployment remains high at about 22 percent.

The Government took some steps to improve its human rights practices in 1994. Nevertheless, serious human rights problems persisted. In June the Attorney General withdrew most charges against opposition leaders facing trials. However, the Government continued to intimidate and harass those opposed to government/KANU policies and regularly interfered with many civil liberties--notably freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association--in attempts to silence critics. Security forces continued to arrest and detain temporarily opposition parliamentarians and journalists, harassed voters in several by-elections, broke up lawful public gatherings, and flouted international labor covenants by quashing attempts by doctors and university professors to form unions. During the year, the Police Commissioner acknowledged problems of police brutality and domestic violence, both of which remained serious problems.

Ethnic violence in the Rift Valley decreased considerably over the past year, following the Government's establishment of security zones. Nevertheless, questions remain about the Government's and KANU's roles in fomenting the violence. After initially cooperating with international relief organizations to resettle displaced victims of the ethnic violence, late in the year the Government forcibly relocated approximately 2,000 Maela camp residents, calling into question the Government's commitment to work cooperatively to resettle the displaced.


Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:

a. Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

There were no reports of political killings by government security forces. However, in a case with political undertones, approximately 45 unidentified assailants raided the home of opposition parliamentarian Peter Anyang Nyong'o on March 4 and murdered Nyong'o's uncle. Nyong'o issued a press statement implicating the Government in the raid and was subsequently temporarily detained by police. At year's end, five suspects arrested in connection with the attack were in custody awaiting a trial date. Six persons were killed in postelection violence, although there is no evidence that either the Government or the opposition parties were responsible (see Section 3).

Substantial evidence dating from 1991 indicates that high-level government officials were complicit in instigating and promoting the ethnic clashes, which had as of year's end claimed over 1,000 lives and displaced 250,000 people (see Section 1.g.).

On July 29, the High Court acquitted Jonah Anguka, the former Rift Valley provincial commissioner, who had been accused of killing Foreign Minister Robert Ouko in 1990. Although presidential confidant Nicholas Biwott had been named as a principal suspect, the Attorney General claimed that there was insufficient evidence to try him. (The other principal suspect, Hezekiah Oyugi, died of natural causes in 1992.) The Attorney General also ruled out attempts by opposition politicians to investigate the murder privately, asserting that only he was constitutionally empowered to initiate such proceedings.

Kenyan police used excessive lethal force on several occasions in attempts to apprehend criminal suspects. In a widely publicized case in August, a police reservist reportedly shot and killed a homeless child for attempting to steal a car mirror. After several protests and calls for an inquiry into the incident, the authorities charged the reservist with murder but had not brought him to trial by year's end. Police reservists have also been implicated in the deaths of five other street children. While most prison deaths stemmed from disease and lack of medical care, there was at least one death as a result of police brutality. Charles Ireri Njeru, arrested March 29 in Karaba on suspicion of theft, died the following day in police custody. The postmortem report indicated that he had died from multiple injuries caused by a blunt object. The authorities arrested two Karaba constables, charged them with Njeru's murder, and issued a warrant of arrest for a third constable who remained at large.

In late December, the Government had still not made an accounting for the death of Jackson Mutonye Ndegwa, who was arrested November 2, 1993, after an alleged raid on the Ndeiya chief's camp, an arsenal near Nairobi. The police reported he died the following morning of injuries sustained during the arrest, although there were credible reports that the police had interrogated him the previous night. At year's end, the investigation was ongoing.

The Government still has not taken any steps to punish those responsible for the September 1993 beating death of the nephew of Central Organization of Trade Unions' Secretary General Joseph Mugalla.

Mob violence remained a serious problem in 1994, although there are no statistics available on the number of deaths. The Government condemned the practice but has taken no action to address the problem, as it treats such incidents as individual cases of murder.

b. Disappearance

The only alleged disappearance concerned an Islamic Party of Kenya (IPK) activist, Mohammed Wekesa, who was arrested in August with two other persons in connection with disturbances in Mombasa. Although Wekesa was supposedly released, he has not been seen since his arrest.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Despite constitutional provisions and the Police Commissioner's June announcement that torture was prohibited and would not be tolerated, there continued to be credible reports that the police and security forces resorted to torture and brutality. Security forces also used severe methods to break up both licensed and unlicensed public assemblies. In particular, police targeted for abuse those connected with Koigi Wa Wamwere, the former parliamentarian on trial for his alleged raid on the Bahati police station in Nakuru in November 1993. In July Nakuru police arrested Wamwere's cousin, Geoffrey Kuria Kariuki, on theft charges and beat him unconscious with rifle butts, batons, and kicks. Relatives who glimpsed Kariuki during his subsequent 10-day incommunicado confinement reported that he had swollen lips, a swollen left eye, and a deep wound on the right side of his forehead. Police arrested two other associates of Wamwere, Michael Kungu and John Kinyanjui, on the same night as Kariuki and likewise battered them. According to the Kenya Human Rights Commission, Kungu urinated blood for 2 days as a result of his beating. At year's end, no action had been taken to punish the officers responsible for the beatings.

The Government had also taken no disciplinary measures against policemen responsible for the abuse of those arrested in connection with Koigi Wa Wamwere's alleged police station raid. (Eleven of the original 15 suspects have been cleared of all charges.) The injuries sustained by the suspects included open and infected wounds, swelling and bruising at the knee and ankle joints, and bleeding from under the toenails. On November 20, 1993, police arrested the physician who examined the suspects, searched his office, and detained him for 3 days. In response to diplomatic inquiries, the Government expressed dissatisfaction with the police officers' explanation of the matter and promised an investigation, but by late December had provided no information about the results, if any. Similar diplomatic inquiries were made in the case of six suspects whom police tortured following an alleged raid on the Ndeiya chief's camp in September 1993. One of the "Ndeiya Six," David Njenga Ngugi, reportedly had his genitals pricked with a pin and a toenail removed with pliers. On June 10, Nairobi senior principal magistrate Onesmus Githingi acquitted the six suspects and directed the Commissioner of Police, Shadrack Kiruki, to take action against the police officers who tortured them. However, at year's end no officers had been disciplined. Moreover, in what appears to have been a punitive measure, magistrate Githingi was transferred in September from Nairobi to a small rural court in Kituyi.

Police continued to disperse public assemblies brutally. According to the Kenyan Human Rights Commission, while breaking up a University of Nairobi gathering on February 2, police forced one student to jump from a window by throwing a gas canister into his room. In February police injured several students while attempting to disband student meetings in support of the professors' strike. The authorities took no action to punish offending police officers.

There were also reliable reports of police violence against women. When the League of Women Voters attempted to hold a seminar on June 18 in Kirinyaga, approximately 100 armed police chased participants from the venue by beating them with clubs. In January about 200 women accused police of harassment and rape when officers conducted a house-to-house search for bandits in Wajir. In a gender violence workshop hosted by the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in September, Police Commissioner Kiruki pledged to work with women's groups like FIDA and to implement guidelines for the treatment of women by police. However, at year's end, the police had not yet taken any specific action to implement any such guidelines.

Conditions in prisons are life-threatening, due in part to 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 sexual abuse, severe overcrowding, a poor diet, inadequate health care, substandard bedding materials, and flooded or unheated cells. There were several hundred deaths in prison in 1994, most of which stemmed from disease. Kenyan prisons do not have resident doctors, and only one prison had a doctor permanently assigned to it. Kenya's 78 prisons hold approximately 51,000 prisoners, 12,000 of whom are awaiting trial. Rape is a serious problem for both men and the more than 3,000 women in prison.

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. However, this statute does not apply to those detained under the Preservation of Public Security Act (PPSA).

The Constitution was amended in 1988 to allow the police to hold persons suspected of capital offenses for 14 days before charging them in court. Capital offenses include such crimes as murder and treason. A 1993 amendment to the Penal Code excludes weekends and holidays from this 14-day period, potentially a significant increase in the time prisoners can be held without charge. In practice, suspects are sometimes held incommunicado for 2 to 3 weeks before being brought before a court. Persons arrested and charged are usually allowed access to their family and attorney promptly. However, only family members and attorneys may visit detainees 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. In cases where the defendant fails to appear in court, the judiciary may issue a warrant for his arrest. A relic of the colonial period, the Chief's Authority Act empowers local officials, called "chiefs," to arrest individuals and to restrict a person's movement without trial. (The Chief's Act was not formally invoked in 1994 to detain anyone, but chiefs occasionally cite the Act to take suspected criminals to the police. Under the Act, chiefs are technically not supposed to detain anyone for more than 12 hours.)The PPSA, on the other hand, 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," and several other grounds. No persons were detained under the PPSA in 1994.

In July 1993, the Attorney General created 11 task forces to review various sections of the Constitution. In July 1994, the Task Force on the Reform of Penal Laws and Procedures formally proposed that statutes relating to criminal investigation, arrest, detention, questioning, charge, and bail be reexamined. The Task Force is expected to submit its final report by December 1995.

Although the Government held no political detainees at year's end, the police continued to detain arbitrarily politicians, human rights advocates, journalists, and others who were critical of the Government. In most instances, the police held the detainees for several hours and then released them without formally charging them.

In August police detained the Vice Chairman of the FORD-Kenya (FORD-K) opposition party, James Orengo, for 7 hours at the Kisumu police station after he made public statements implicating Nicholas Biwott in the 1990 murder of Foreign Minister Ouko. In June police also detained opposition parliamentarians Martha Karua and Allan Njeru and Presbyterian Bishop David Gitari for 2 hours after disrupting the FIDA seminar they were attending in Kirinyaga (see Section 1.c.). In September police held Kenyan Human Rights Commission executive director Maina Kiai, opposition parliamentarian John Wanyange, and 10 others for 6 hours without charge at the Naivasha police station for attempting to demonstrate against the denial of national identification cards to young Rift Valley Kikuyus.

Government security forces continued to arrest and harass opposition Members of Parliament (M.

P.'s), most often charging them with some variation of subversion or holding an unlicensed meeting. The authorities arrested and formally charged a total of 15 opposition M.

P.'s in 1994, as opposed to 36 in 1993. Police arrested FORD-K M.

P.'s Mukhisa Kituyi and Musikari Kombo in April after they brought relief supplies to a Rift Valley displaced persons camp. The Government characterized the trip as an unlicensed meeting in which they "uttered words calculated to incite the public against the President." In April police arrested opposition M.

P. Joseph Mulusya while he was socializing with friends and charged him with participating in an unlawful meeting. In June the Attorney General rescinded charges of sedition and subversion against 13 of the arrested M.

P.'s. However, in doing so he warned M.

P.'s against slandering the President in their public remarks. Two M.

P.'s, Stephen Ndichu and Kamuiru Gitau, still hadcases outstanding at year's end.

The police also arrested more than 400 residents of Nakuru during periodic arbitrary sweeps. On February 18, police arrested more than 200 young men and women at a bus park in the city. They faced charges of walking in a suspicious manner, hawking, shouting to attract passengers, entering into a volatile area, and having no national identity cards. Then in May, Nakuru police arrested approximately 200 street salesmen in the city center. A police source later said that theft had been increasing and that the arrests were intended to rid the town of suspects.

The Government does not use exile as a means of political control, but in December the Government effectively expatriated Sheik Khalid Balala, a former leader of the Islamic Party of Kenya (IPK), when Kenyan Embassy officials in Bonn rejected Balala's application for a passport extension. In 1994 the Government also deported a number of foreigners for questionable reasons. In June it deported Dr. Dorothee Von Brentano, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation development agency representative, after she authorized funding for a political opposition party. In July the Government deported Australian training editor John Lawrence after he edited a compilation of critical social commentary that ran in the Nation newspaper.

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial

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 courts have no power to enforce the "Bill of Rights," which is part of the Constitution. In spite of legal challenges that the ruling effectively subsumes the judiciary under the executive branch, his decision has not been overruled.

Civilians are tried in civilian courts, and trials are public, although 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.

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 of Nairobi. (Poor people who do not have an attorney are usually 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. Military personnel are tried by courts-martial, and verdicts may be appealed. Attorneys for military personnel are appointed on a case by case basis by the Chief Justice.

Civilians generally have a right to appeal a verdict to the Kenyan High Court and ultimately to the Court of Appeal. However, these rights were effectively denied in a case involving Bedan Mbugua and David Makali, the editor and reporter of The People newspaper, and attorney G.


M. Kariuki (see Section 2.a.). In May the three were arraigned on contempt charges after the two journalists published a story quoting Kariuki's criticism of a decision delivered by the Court of Appeal. Under Kenyan law, a person must be tried by the same court in which he is in contempt. While Kariuki agreed to pay a substantial fine, Mbugua and Makali refused and were consequently given prison sentences of several months.

The judiciary is not independent. The President has extensive powers over appointments. He appoints the Chief Justice, the Attorney General, Court of Appeal judges, and, with the advice of the Judicial Service Commission, High Court judges. He also has authority to dismiss judges and the Attorney General upon the recommendation of a special presidentially appointed tribunal. In 1994 the Office of the President declined to renew the contracts of three High Court judges who had previously made rulings against the Government.

In September the government-aligned Judicial Service Commission transferred senior principal magistrate Onesmus Githingi out of Nairobi following his acquittal of the suspects in the "Ndeiya Six" case. Githingi had ruled that the police used torture to coerce the confessions of the suspects, who were accused of raiding the Ndeiya chief's camp outside Nairobi in September 1993.

The political trial of Koigi Wa Wamwere began in Nakuru on April 12 and was continuing at year's end. A former M.

P. from Nakuru, Wamwere has spent the better part of the past 9 years in police detention. He has been targeted by the Government because of his popularity among Rift Valley Kikuyus, who are considered political rivals of President Moi's Kalenjin tribe. The state prosecutor in the trial finished presenting his case in September without producing credible evidence tying Wamwere to the alleged attack on the Bahati police station in November 1993. In November defense attorneys began to present evidence that Wamwere was in Nairobi on the night of the alleged raid and that police tampered with evidence supposedly confiscated from the crime scene. Leading human rights groups have named Koigi Wa Wamwere and his codefendants in the "Bahati Police Station" case as probable political prisoners. The trial continues amid news that Wamwere was diagnosed in December with bleeding ulcers, which may be conneted to the harsh conditions of his confinement. (The trial of Geoffrey Kuria Kariuki and two other associates of Wamwere had not commenced by year's end.)There was one instance in which a case was moved to a magistrate who consistently ruled in favor of the Government. In late December, the authorities arrested several members of a Kikuyu religious organization in Laikipia District for tribal oathing and later charged them in the Nakuru District Court. Contrary to previous years, there were no instances in which the Government prevented its critics from filing cases to obtain legal redress from harassment.

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence

The Constitution permits searches without warrants in certain instances "to promote the public benefit," such as in security cases. Although security officials generally obtain judicially issued search warrants, at times they 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.

Security forces employ various means of surveillance, including electronic surveillance and a network of informers. Police routinely monitored the activities of political opponents and their associates. In a June letter to the Director of State Intelligence, FORD-K M.

P. Paul Muite complained that several specific vehicles with civilian license plates constantly shadowed his movements and that of his family. Muite, who is also the lead defense attorney in the Wamwere case, reported that the cars even followed him from Nairobi to the Nakuru courtroom and back again--a 4-hour trip.

The Government monitored and intercepted correspondence as well. In August the U.S.-based Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights mailed two packages to the Kenya Human Rights Commission. The local Nairobi post office refused to release the packages, claiming that the reports were "political" and "hitting at the Government." In April police detained and interrogated an 18-year-old student for several hours after police intercepted a letter she had sent to opposition M.

P. Paul Muite.

City council security officers, or "Askaris," continued to destroy the kiosks of licensed and unlicensed vendors in several Kenyan cities. On February 9 and 15, Nairobi Askaris demolished and burned a stretch of vendors' booths at the Machakos country bus terminal, destroying several thousand dollars' worth of property. On February 16, Askaris beat and arrested the chairman of the Vendors' Association when he visited the Machakos bus terminal. Askaris also arrested and confiscated goods from vendors at the Kisumu town center in February.

Although Kenyans are theoretically free to choose their political affiliation, government employees continued to be warned to support the ruling party or be fired. In May the Government dismissed a permanent secretary in the Ministry of Labor after he reportedly made contact with an opposition party member.

g. Use of Excessive Force and Violations of Humanitarian Law in Internal Conflicts

Ethnic clashes that began in 1991 have killed over 1,000 civilians and displaced 250,000 persons. Violent clashes involving several ethnic groups continued throughout the year, albeit less frequently than in 1993. International attention has focused on the Kikuyus whom the Maasai forcibly evicted from Enoosupukia in Narok district of the Rift Valley and were living in displaced persons camps in Maela. Victims of the violence are largely from ethnic groups opposed to the ruling party, particularly the Kikuyu, who comprise 21 percent of the population. For example, in the first half of the year, there were violent attacks by Maasai directed at Kikuyus in which villagers were murdered, houses burned, and property confiscated. At year's end, tensions remained high in Molo and sites of other clashes because government efforts to promote reconciliation had not been fully successful.

Serious questions remain about the Government's complicity in instigating the violence, and on several occasions in 1994 KANU and Government officials made statements targeting particular ethnic groups that led to renewed violence. Clashes occurred in March in Burnt Forest between Kalenjins and Kikuyus, in June in Mombasa between coastal groups and Luos, and in Turkana between non-Turkana and Turkana. All of these followed inciteful statements made by government or KANU officials. The Government took no action to disavow or punish those officials or others who incited violence. Reports by several organizations, including a special parliamentary committee, the Catholic Bishops of Kenya, the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), the National Elections Monitoring Group, the Kenya Human Rights Commission, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center, and Human Rights Watch/Africa placed primary blame for the violence on the Government. Critics charge that the Government initially supported tribal clashes tostrengthen its hold on power and to prove its assertion that multiparty politics will not work in Kenya.

In 1993 the Government announced measures to control the ethnic violence by establishing "security zones" in areas hardest hit around Molo, Londiani, Elgburgon, and Burnt Forest. These measures were successful in curtailing the violence. Regulations introduced in the security zones severely restrict entry and movement and grant security forces search and seizure rights within the zones. However, they also authorize security forces to shoot to kill in cases in which there was suspicion that a crime had occurred, such as illegal entry into the security zones. The regulations also absolve government forces from responsibility for death and destruction in the zones by specifically prohibiting suits for compensation. Despite these restrictions, there were sporadic reports of violent clashes within the security zones.

Citing the provisions of the security zone regulations, the Government sought to prevent opposition M.

P.'s, domestic and international human rights advocates, and most journalists from entering the zones, and arrested many who did so. In early 1994, the Government reluctantly allowed NGO's working under the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) displaced persons program and a few others, including diplomatic officials, some access to the security zones. Later in the year, the local administration also allowed media representatives to accompany important visitors and diplomats to the zones. The UNDP Rogge report, published in September, noted that the Government had made an effort to reduce tensions and to resettle those displaced. The report estimated that 30 percent of those displaced had been resettled to their villages, that 50 percent were in various stages of return, and that another 20 percent remained in camps.

In October President Moi instructed the Rift Valley Provincial Commissioner to resettle displaced persons resident in camps in Maela. However, local administrators proved unable or unwilling to carry out these presidential instructions as intended. They actually resettled over 200 families (out of 3,000), who, once relocated to unproductive farm land, were not given resettlement assistance. On December 24, the Government dismantled the Maela camps and razed the shelters without prior notice and without the cooperation of UNDP. It forcibly resettled hundreds of refugees to areas outside Maela who were left to fend for themselves. The Government had restricted UNDP and NGO's from entering Maela and participating in the resettlement process. At year's end, the status of the displaced remained uncertain.

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

a. Freedom of Speech and Press

The Constitution provides for freedom of expression and the press and outlaws discrimination on the grounds of political opinion. Nonetheless, there are restrictions on the exercise of free speech. Freedom of speech is often breached by security forces and undercut by broad interpretations of antiquated sedition and libel laws. In his May 31 pledge to reconsider subversion and incitement cases, the Attorney General cautioned that words or actions critical of the President or that could alarm the public or disturb the peace were illegal. The Government has used these provisos as a basis for denying opposition parties the right to free speech. Similarly, it arrested several opposition leaders on the charge that their critical commentary about the Government was inciteful. Despite these forms of government obstruction, the political opposition and human rights groups continued to present their views to the public.

Radio is the medium through which most Kenyans get their news. The Government controls the single radio station and its affiliate television station, the Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation, which produces both television and radio news. They typically avoid stories critical of the Government, give a large share of news time to government or ruling party functions, and neglect to give anything approaching equal coverage to opposition activities. The ruling party owns a second television station, the Kenya Television Network, and a government supporter owns a new cable television station. The Information Minister announced in late December that the Government would not license any new radio and television stations in the near future, even if the Attorney General's Task Force on the Press, which is expected to submit its final report by mid-1995, recommended radio liberalization.

The print media include three daily newspapers that provide extensive coverage of national politics. Two dailies, the Nation and the Standard, cover political issues and print articles critical of government policies, though at least one former editor has charged that the papers are under pressure to self-censor. The third daily newspaper, the Kenya Times, more often reflects the views of the ruling party. Weekly newspapers and magazines, many of which take a more strident tone in their criticism of the Government, also have substantial audiences. The printed press remained vibrant and independent, and government harassment of the press decreased noticeably after midyear. However, in attempts to silence its critics, the Government arrested 18 journalists in 1994 and fined or incarcerated them for violating antiquated libel and sedition laws. In the year's most notable case, the Court of Appeal in June found Bedan Mbugua, the editor in chief of the weekly newspaper, the People; David Makali, a People reporter; the publishing company; and human rights attorney G.


M. Kariuki guilty of contempt of court. The contempt charges arose from an article in The People that quoted Kariuki's criticism of the same Court of Appeal's decision in a case involving the Universities Academic Staff Union (see Section 6.a.). The Court fined Kariuki approximately $10,000, fined Bedan and Mbugua each roughly twice that amount, and required them to publish apologies. When Mbugua and Makali refused to apologize, the Commissioner of Prisons elected to send them to a maximum security prison for 5 and 4 months, respectively. The authorities released Mbugua after serving 3 months and 20 days, and freed Makali after 3 months.

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. On January 13, a truckload of armed policemen raided Colorprint Limited, a Nairobi publisher, and impounded 15,000 copies of "Kenya: Return to Reason," a book by the chairman of the FORD-Asili (FORD-A) opposition party, Kenneth Matiba. The following day, the Government announced that the book was a "prohibited publication." In November the authorities arrested a Nairobi businessman on a sedition charge for possessing a booklet entitled "Patriotic Voices." At year's end, the Attorney General had not given his consent to begin prosecution.

In August the Government withdrew sedition charges against four journalists from the Standard newspaper. It had accused the four of publishing a seditious story in March about ethnic clashes in the Rift Valley security zone of Molo--a story that was later proven untrue.

In 1994 the Government streamlined procedures for accrediting representatives of the international media, who by and large operated unfettered in Kenya.

In previous years, the Government pressured university students and faculty to support the ruling party, but since the professors' strike closed down institutions of higher learning for the better part of the year, the degree of academic freedom was difficult to gauge. The authorities fired 26 professors because of their participation in the walkout, and in March the Court of Appeal upheld the firings, effectively denying the professors tenure. Police posted on university campuses monitored student and faculty activities. On several occasions, police peaceably dispersed gatherings of professors on university grounds but used force to disrupt student assemblies (see Section 1.d.).

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. The Act prohibits unlicensed meetings of 10 or more persons without approval 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 fall under the jurisdiction of the Public Order Act. Throughout 1994, but particularly in the early part of the year, the Government restricted the right of peaceful assembly by refusing to register meetings. Between January and May, it refused the FORD-K opposition party permits for public rallies six times and also disallowed gatherings planned by nonpolitical organizations. In March the district commissioner refused the NCCK a permit for a seminar regarding start-up business loans for community development projects.

The Government also frequently broke up both licensed and unlicensed meetings. On March 27, administrative police fired into the air and used tear gas to disperse people gathered for a free eye clinic, just as opposition M.

P. George Nyanja began to address the crowd. The parliamentarian had obtained a permit for the gathering, but an officer on the scene announced that the provincial administration had withdrawn the permit, rendering the assembly unlawful.

Armed police dispersed 400 people attending a seminar hosted by the FORD-A party at the Limuru conference and training center on April 23. Police entered the conference center's dining hall while the participants were at breakfast and ordered them to leave the premises immediately. When arguments ensued between the police and the FORD-A leaders, the police used tear gas to scatter the crowd.

The authorities were no less forceful in preventing opposition leaders from publicly meeting their constituents. On April 4, antiriot police stopped seven FORD-K parliamentarians from addressing a large crowd in Homa Bay, forcing them to leave the town at gunpoint. When James Orengo, the party's first vice chairman, then attempted to walk back through the town, he was blocked by police and forced into his car. Later in the day, police again dispersed crowds in the Rangwe and Ndhiwa townships before the seven parliamentarians had an opportunity to address them.

In late May, several government officials, including the Minister for Education and the Rift Valley Provincial Commissioner, announced that the Government would be more forthcoming on permits for public assemblies. The Government accordingly licensed a united opposition public meeting held in Nairobi in early June. Individual opposition parties also conducted campaign rallies prior to the June 27 parliamentary by-elections without government interference.

The Societies Act governs freedom of association; it states that every association must be registered or exempted from registration by the Registrar of Societies. Ten political parties are currently registered under this statute: KANU, FORD-K, FORD-A, the Democratic Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Kenya National Democratic Alliance, the Kenya National Congress, Labor Party Democracy, the Kenya Social Congress, and the Party of Independent Candidates of Kenya. The Government has refused to register the Islamic Party of Kenya (IPK), even though the Societies Act nowhere prohibits religion-based parties. The Attorney General has argued that registering sectarian parties would contradict the spirit of the Act, which proscribes organizations "incompatible with peace, welfare, or good order in Kenya." A secretive organization known as the Mau Mau Posterity Party, which claims responsibility for anti-Asian propaganda in Kenya's urban centers, has not attempted registration.

c. Freedom of Religion

Kenya has no state religion, and the Constitution acknowledges freedom of worship. The Government generally does not infringe upon religious activities, except to require registration by new churches.

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

By law, citizens may travel freely within the country. However, ethnic clashes and the establishment of security zones restricted the ability of many Kenyans to travel, particularly to those parts of the Rift Valley most affected by the violence.

The Government does not generally prohibit emigration of its citizens and, in contrast to previous years, did not prevent travel abroad by its critics in 1994. The Government does not regard provision of passports to its citizens as a right and reserves the authority to issue or deny passports at its discretion.

There are 240,000 refugees, mostly from Somalia and Sudan living in camps and 100,000 living outside the camps in cities and rural areas. Somalis account for about 80 percent of the total refugee population. Kenya has accepted most asylum seekers, though sometimes entry is delayed. None of these refugees has been granted legal permanent residence status.

Following a series of formal warnings, in July the Government gave the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 3 days' notice to close a large refugee camp near a tourist area in Mombasa. Although the Government did not follow through with its demand, official pressure to close the camp remained strong at year's end. The UNHCR accepted in principle the Government's right to close the camp.

According to Africa Watch and the UNHCR, there continued to be credible reports by UNHCR and other relief agencies of rapes of Somali refugee women in the North Eastern province. Unlike 1993, when most of the rapes took place inside the confines of the camps, those reported in 1994 took place outside the camps. They have been directed mostly at young girls herding goats or collecting firewood. Most of the rape incidents are believed to be committed by other refugees or bandits operating outside the camps. The incidence of rape decreased dramatically in 1994, from an average of 27 down to 9 per month, after the UNHCR increased assistance to the women and improved security in the camps. The Government, initially stung by allegations of government security involvement and of not taking the issue seriously, arrested two individuals in the camp identified by the victims.

Refugees living outside the camps are vulnerable to arrest, and those who purchase false identification documents and visas put themselves even further at risk. In August the police raided Somali communities in an effort to ferret out "illegal aliens." There were credible reports that Somali refugees, as well as ethnically Somali Kenyans, were targets for extortion and that some were arrested following these sweeps.

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government

Kenyan citizens have the legal right to change their government through free and fair elections, but their ability to do so has yet to be demonstrated fully. The presidential and parliamentary elections of 1992 were marked by violence, intimidation, fraud, and other irregularities, but opposition candidates nevertheless won 63 percent of the vote. Diplomatic observers viewed the 10 by-elections held in 1994 as generally free and fair, despite minor irregularities.

However, the Government continued to harass and intimidate the political opposition. The President exercises sweeping powers over the local political structure as well as the National Assembly, and the KANU party he heads controlled 118 out of the 200 National Assembly seats. The President appoints both the powerful provincial and district commissioners, as well as a multitude of district and village officials. At the district and village level, these political appointees are responsible for security as well as the disbursement of federal development funds.

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 subject of the President's conduct is inappropriate for parliamentary debate, has severely limited the scope of deliberation on many 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, the President also influences the legislative agenda. He also bolstered KANU's majority by acting on his constitutional authority to appoint 12 M.


Three opposition parties--the DP, FORD-K, and FORD-A--hold the majority of the opposition's 82 seats. KANU used a variety of pressure tactics to entice opposition M.

P.'s to defect to KANU, and by year's end six opposition M.

P.'s had done so. As a result, there were 10 by-elections, including 2 forced by the death of two M.

P.'s. During the seven by-elections held in June, there were credible reports that government and KANU officials bribed voters, purchased voter cards, and forcibly removed an election observer from a polling station. There were also violent incidents at public rallies prior to the June elections involving both opposition and KANU supporters. Street skirmishes between supporters of contending parties also broke out on the day of two by-elections in October. A U.S. Embassy observer witnessed an assault in front of a polling station on a FORD-A candidate, who was later hospitalized. The assailant, who struck the candidate to the ground with repeated blows as armed police looked on, came o the polling station in a convoy of vehicles escorting the KANU Secretary General. Following the announcement of the October election results, in which two opposition candidates won parliamentary seats, fights erupted again resulting in the deaths of at least six people. Another round of by-elections were to be held in January 1995, following the High Court's decision in November to nullify opposition victories in two 1992 parliamentary elections. The Court overturned the results of one election because the opposition winner had allegedly administered tribal oaths to supporters, although the decision was based on contradictory testimony given by witch doctors.

Merus, Kalenjins, Kisiis, Luhyas, Kambas, Taitas, Luos, Giriamas, Maasai, Kikuyus, Pokot, and Embus 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.

Although there are no legal restrictions on the participation of women or minorities in politics, the role of women in the political process nonetheless remains circumscribed by traditional attitudes. In 1994 there were six female M.

P.'s, no female cabinet ministers, and one female assistant minister. Within the political opposition, women figure most significantly in the Democratic Party, where 25 percent of the party's national office holders are women.

Section 4 Governmental 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 (RPP), are particularly active and publish regular reports that are often critical of the Government's human rights record. The Institute for Education in Democracy continues to monitor parliamentary by-elections with generally good 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, also cover human rights issues, and a large pool of Kenyan attorneys handle pro bono cases for defendants and serve as an informal source of human rights information.

President Moi continued to criticize the activities of both domestic and international human rights NGO's, and the Government targeted several of them for harassment in 1994. After the KHRC sent a letter to President Clinton urging revocation of Kenya's trade privileges because of the Government's refusal to register the University Professors' Union, President Moi branded the letter as "treasonous." Authorities also intercepted KHRC mail (see Section 1.f.) and detained persons participating in KHRC demonstrations. In September Nakuru police arrested 12 RPP members attending the trial of Koigi Wa Wamwere and held them incommunicado for several days. When another RPP member visited police headquarters to inquire about his colleagues, he too was put in incommunicado detention. The entire group was eventually released without charge.

In contrast, human rights organizations have been successful in efforts to cooperate with government officials on issues like domestic violence. In September a government-sponsored human rights monitoring group hosted a representative from the Kennedy Center for Human Rights, and the Kenyan Embassy in the United States issued visas to representatives of several U.S.-based human rights organizations interested in traveling to 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, creed."


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, women cannot legally work at night, which disadvantages female employees in hotels, homes, and industries in the export processing zones. According to Kenyan pension law, a widow loses her work pension upon remarriage, whereas a man does not. When men and women perform comparable jobs, men often receive a higher job classification and therefore better pay. Not only do women have difficulty moving into nontraditional, professional fields, but they also are 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 extralegal inheritance settlements or are given smaller shares than male claimants. In a widely publicized trial that focused national attention on female inheritance rights, the mother of a recently deceased Olympic boxing hero lost her bid to inherit her son's professional earnings.

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. Violence against women is a serious and widespread problem. Police statistics released in 1994 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. These statistics are probably underreported, however, since social mores deter women from going outside their clan 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. Organizations concerned with women's rihts charge that the Government is often apathetic and flippant about women's issues. The Attorney General remarked in April that a woman could not claim rape against her husband under current laws.


Economic displacement, a high population growth rate, and the ethnic clashes have resulted in a large number 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 running, assault, trespassing, defilement, and property damage, and there have been credible reports that the police have treated these children inhumanely (see Section 1.a.).

The May report of the Task Force on Children recommended both programmatic and legal measures to safeguard the rights of children. A variety of proposed legal remedies are incorporated in a new law prospectively called the Children's Act. However, the Attorney General had not presented the draft bill in Parliament by year's end.

Despite the Government's stated opposition, female genital mutilation (FGM) remains widespread, particularly among Kenya's nomadic peoples. It is usually performed at an early age and has been condemned by international health experts as damaging to both physical and mental health. Neither the Government nor women's groups have reliable information about the extent of the practice, but according to rough estimates the percentage of females who have undergone this procedure may be as high as 50 percent. The Task Force on Children has recommended outlawing this practice, as it endangers the "the survival, safety, and development" of the child.

National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

According to the 1989 government census, whose figures were released in May, the Kikuyu are the largest ethnic community, comprising 20.8 percent of the population. The Luhya, Luo, Kamba, and Kalenjin (an amalgamation of 9 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 the Kenya Human Rights Commission, provincial authorities have denied national identification cards to a substantial number of Kikuyu youths, even though they and most of 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, the Minister for Local Government, William Ole Ntimama, reiterated this year that Kikuyus displaced from Enosupukia by the ethnic clashes would not be allowed to return. In various newspaper interviews, Ntimama characterized the land titles held by displaced Kikuyus as illegally acquired documents.

Asians, or Kenyans of sub-continent descent, have also been targets of official and societal prejudice. The secretary general of the FORD-A opposition party, Martin Shikuku, announced at a public rally in August that he would kick Asians out of the country if he were chosen president. Anti-Asian leaflets, supposedly authored by a group called the Mau Mau Posterity (see Section 2.b.), also circulated in Kenya's urban centers. The leaflets reflect a general sense of resentment among Kenyan Africans toward the Asian community, which is more affluent and reluctant to assimilate African culture. An Indian police reservist's alleged involvement in the shooting death of an African street child in August inflamed 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 August the police made sweeps through two known Somali communities in Nairobi, ostensibly in search of illegal aliens. They arrested many Somali Kenyans during these sweeps. The presence of large numbers of Somali refugees in Kenya has exacerbated the problems faced by Kenyan Somalis.

People with Disabilities

Government policies do not discriminate against people with disabilities in employment, education, or other state services. There is no mandated provision of accessibility for the disabled to public buildings or transportation.

Section 6 Worker Rights

a. The Right of Association

Save 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 Kenyan law and that 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. In September 1993, 16 officials announced formation of their union and demanded registration by the Government. In April the head of the Civil Service Commission announced with great fanfare the recognition of the Civil Servants Union, but President Moi subsequently rescinded the approval (see below).

There are at least 33 unions in Kenya representing approximately 350,000 workers, less than 20 percent of the country's industrialized work force. Except for the 150,000 teachers who belong to the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), 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. Most secretaries general within COTU, including those who staged an abortive "coup" on July 2, 1993, putting into power leaders more acceptable to the Government, agreed that any COTU-KANU connection was obsolete in the multiparty era.

A High Court decision November 10, 1993, nullified the July 2 "election," but the coup plotters refused to vacate COTU headquarters. On January 31, however, a three-member panel of the Appellate Court confirmed the November 10 decision and threatened to jail the Registrar of Trade Unions on contempt of court charges should he maintain his refusal to recognize the old COTU leadership. He complied with the order. Two further government-sponsored but unsuccessful attempts to unseat the COTU leadership took place in March, and the elected leadership remained in office throughout 1994.

The Trade Disputes Act permits workers to strike provided that 21 days have elapsed following the submission of a written report 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, may strike following the 21-day notice period (28 days if it is an essential service, e.g., water, health, education, air traffic control). During this 21-day period, the Minister may either mediate the dispute, nominate an 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, based on the Minister's opinion, to determine the legality of any strike. The Minister in 1994 used this power to declare several stikes illegal, although the required notice had been given. If workers attribute dismissals to strike or union activities, they have recourse to the Industrial Court.

There were several strikes in 1994, including one by the Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) and one by the Kenya Union of Medical Practitioners and Dentists (KUMPD). The UASU strike was the longest in Kenyan history. Both groups, representing government university and hospital staff, struck after the Government had refused to register their unions. The Government arrested and dismissed the UASU leadership, and the authorities did not reinstate over 20 professors after suspending their strike September 28. KUMPO leaders were expelled from their government-provided housing. After suspending their strike September 27, fully qualified doctors-- but not necessarily interns--went back to work and received new housing. Although the UASU lost another court case in October, both unions continued to press for recognition.

Internationally, COTU is affiliated with both the Organization of African Trade Union Unity and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. Many of its affiliates are linked to international trade secretariats of their choice.

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 the context of 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. In 1994 about 250 agreements were newly signed and registered with the Court. Some 1 million workers (union and nonunion) were covered by these accords. 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 export processing zones (EPZ's) was passed in November, 1990. The EPZ Authority decided that local labor laws, including the right to organize and bargain collectively, would apply in the EPZ's. However, in practice, it grants many exemptions. For example, the Government waived aspects of the law that prevent women from working at night because women prevail in a number of industries in the zones (see Section 6.e.). Workers and some government officials criticized working conditions in the EPZ's in 1994.

c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The Constitution proscribes slavery, servitude, and forced labor. However, under the Chiefs' Authority Act, local officials may require people to perform community services in an emergency. This practice did not occur in 1994. 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 (see Section 5). 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 May wage increase and considerable appreciation of the Kenya shilling (ksh) against the dollar, the lowest minimum wages were $37.80 (ksh 1,700) in urban areas and $21.22 (ksh 955) in rural areas. Workers in some enterprises claimed that employers force them to work extra hours with no overtime pay. Prices for some basic commodities declined in mid-1994, but because of rampant inflation the minimum wage was still insufficient to support 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 a 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 in a week. There are also provisions for 1 month of annual leave and sick leave. Kenyan 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; the Act was amended in 1990 to encompass the agriculture, service, and government sectors. The Minister of Labor is responsible for enforcement of health and safety provisions of the Factories Act. 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 may be appealed to the Factories Appeals Court, a body of four members, one of whom must be a High Court judge. In 1994 the Directorate's factory inspections maintained their level, which had increased dramatically in 1993. Work-related accidents and illnesses declined slightly.


Search Refworld