Raila – Uhuru Meeting Welcome, Focus Should be on Social Justice and Human Rights 

The Social Movements Working Group on Social Justice and Human Rights Welcome the meeting between Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta and is calling for the Dialogue not to focus only on Political Positions for the elite but Should be based on Social Justice and Human Rights and also on realization of Agenda Four issues that were agreed upon in 2007/8 including Security Sector Reforms, Land Reforms, Judicial Reforms, Political and Elections Reforms, Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission Report, Article 43 (Social and Economic Rights among others. 

The Working Group further calls on holding to account all Police officers who used Excessive force while dealing with demonstrations that followed the bangled elections of August 8 2017 killing innocent Kenyans extrajudicially. 

We also call on dropping all charges against Ruaraka MP and NRM Leader Miguna Miguna who was illegally deported to Canada and holding to account those who refused to honor various Court orders throwing the Justice systems into chaos. 

The Working Group has planned a Retreat on Tuesday the 13 March 2018 in Machakos to deliberate and consolidate the position of Social Movements moving forward. 


Cidi Otieno 


The Social Movements Working Group on Social Justice and Human Rights 



Sign the Petition to Campaign Against Death Sentence on James Gatdet Dak 

Kindly refer to the above subject.

As you may be aware that a South Sudan High Court sentenced former SPLM/A IO spokesman James Gatdet Dak to death which is pending. 

We have therefore prepared a petition on avaaz hence we are requesting you to help us sign it and also share among your contacts.

Kindly support us by signing this petition.

South Sudan Government: Release James Gatdet Dak Now https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/South_Sudan_President_Salva_Kiir_Mayardit_SOUTH_SUDAN_GOVERNMENT_RELEASE_JAMES_GATDET_DAK_NOW/?tDYzVhb 

South Sudan Government: Release James Gatdet Dak Now 

We, the undersigned international and regional human rights defenders call on the government of South Sudan to unconditionally urgently release of James Gatdet Dak.

The life of James Gatdet Dak is precious and he deserves to live like any human being. He has children and family who deserve to have father, a right now being enjoyed by families of those in the government of South Sudan who want to kill him.
James Gatdet Dak’s life must be saved and set free immediately by South Sudan government.
About Gatdet
James Gatdet Dak was long-serving journalist and later became spokesperson of Dr Riek Machar Teny, the former First Vice-President of South Sudan and current rebel leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Army In-Opposition (SPLM/A-IO). 
Abduction and Deportation of Gatdet
James Gatdet Dak was abducted from his home in Nairobi, Kenya, by Kenyan security agents and he was later extradited and handed over to the South Sudan government, on 3 November 2016. The governments of Kenya and South Sudan coordinated the abduction and extradition despite the fact that the Kenya government was aware of James Gatdet Dak being in Kenya under legal asylum status. 
James Gatdet Dak once handed over by Kenya government to Juba government, he was tortured, put under horrific conditions in the intense security control in ‘Jebel Blue House’, a detention facility of the South Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) situated at the outskirt of capital Juba. The same conditions which James Gatdet Dak helplessly remains to live up to now with death sentence hanging over his head.
The act of deporting James Gatdet Dak by the Kenya government while well aware that he would face serious political persecution including torture and degrading treatment from the government of South Sudan, was a violation of the Bill of Rights provided for in the Constitution of Kenya of 2010 under its Chapter 4 especially Article 26 on right to life, Article 28 on human dignity, Article 29 on security of person and Article 50 on the fair trial. The act of Kenya government also violates the international and regional human rights instruments such as civil and political rights, humanitarian law under the United Nations and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Kenya is a state party.
Trial of Gatdet

James Gatdet Dak was sentenced to death by hanging and 21 year imprisonment. He was charged with Treason (death sentence), incitement to violence (20 year imprisonment) and of insulting President Salva Kiir (1 year imprisonment). The verdict was passed on 12 February 2018 by the High Court in South Sudan’s capital, Juba. 
His lawyer was intimidated by the South Sudan government security agents and he withdrew. James Gatdet Dak, a layman, was put on trial alone without any lawyer and his trial seems an already decided verdict by the South Sudan government. On 12 February 2018, his death sentence and 21 year imprisonment were passed on him.
James Gatdet Dak has been critical of the government of South Sudan, condemning the massacres of civilians in Juba and since then after the outbreak of civil war in South Sudan on 15 December 2013. Due to his critical stance against human rights violations by the government of South Sudan, James Gatdet Dak became the target of South Sudan’s agents of national security and military intelligence.
We therefore believe that the charges against James Gatdet Dak are politically and tribally motivated by the Juba political and ruling elite. His trial was wholly unfair movie contrary to the provisions of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011 ( TCSS 2011 as amended) and especially its Part Two under Article 19 that provides for the fair trial.
The charges against him are untrue. The charges are politically motivated and complete fabrications of the government of South Sudan. James Gatdet Dak is a political prisoner who should have been released as provided for under Article 9(2) (c ) and (4) of the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access which stipulate for the release of all political prisoners and detainees within 14 days from the date the Agreement comes into effect.
James Gatdet Dak’s death sentence and purported 21 year imprisonment, further violate his constitutional rights under Article 11 (right to life and human dignity), Article 12 (personal liberty), Article 14 (equality before the law), Article 18 (freedom from torture) and ultimately the charges against him were fabrications which violated his rights of freedom of expression and media under Article 24 of TCSS 2011.
Peace Agreement between SPLM/A IG and SPLM/A IO
On 21 December 2017, the government of South Sudan signed this Agreement with SPLM/A-IO, the latter of which James Gatdet Dak comes from. Even if the charges against James Gatdet Dak were to be taken as genuine, which is not the case in the circumstances, true, he would still benefit from the provisions of the signed Agreement to which the government and the Opposition groups have committed.
The trial of James Gatdet Dak and subsequent verdict were therefore done in a complete violation of the signed Agreement. That additionally explains why James Gatdet Dak must be set free as the charges against him are political fabrications. James Gatdet Dak remains a victim of political hatred.

Importantly, in the alternative, his release would show government’s commitment to peace and that would too provide for a window of opportunity for reconciliation among the people of South Sudan. Any attempt on James Gatdet Dak’s life would set South Sudan into irreconcilable phase and barrier to possible opportunities for peace any time soon.
We therefore call upon Juba government to:
1.      Immediately and Unconditionally release James Gatdet Dak and other detainees including the former Secretary-General of the South Sudan Law Society, human rights lawyer Mr Dong Samuel Luak and Mr Aggrey Idri Ezbon the chair of the SPLM/A-IO’s Humanitarian Affairs Committee- who were reportedly abducted with the involvement of security personnel from both Kenya and South Sudan in Nairobi, Kenya in January 2017.
1.      Biel Boutros Biel: South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy(SSHURSA), South Sudan.
2.      Cidi Otieno – Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders Kenya
3.      Dick Olela – Kenyan Peasants League
4.      Alamin Kimathi – HRD Kenya
5.      Leonida Odongo – Fahamu Africa
6.      Wilfred Olal – Dandora Human Rights Network
7.      Winnie Mutevu – HRD Kenya
8.      Bosco Kubwayo – CCI Burundi
9.      Michael Gatluak: Advocacy for Peace, Justice and Democracy (APJD), South Sudan 
10.  Sarah Nyanath Elijah, Gender Empowerment for South Sudan (GESSO),.South Sudan.
11.  Ter Manyang Gatwech, International Youth for Africa (IYA), South Sudan.
12.  Lam Gai Wuol. Nile Valley Roots Organisation(NVRO), South Sudan.
13.  Peter Gai Manyuon, National Consortium of Human Rights Defenders (NCHRD), South Sudan.
14.  Julius Okoth – United People’s Power (UPEPO)
15.  Ghislain Muhiwa – HRD DRC
16.  Sungu Oyoo – HRD Kenya
17.  Peter Koang Kang – Christian Youth for Peace and Development, Ethiopia
18.  David Ruach Tang – Center for Participatory Development, South Sudan

19. Rachael Mwikali – CGHRD Kenya

Grassroots Activists Muchangi Nyaga aka Zangi Released 

The Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders Kenya wish to inform the Public that Comrade Muchangi Nyaga aka Zangi was released yesterday Wednesday the 21  February 2018 released at about 1830hours thanks to the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders. 
Comrade Muchangi Nyaga was arrested on trumped up incitement charges by the police at John Saga Police Station in Huruma in Nairobi Kenya. The Station has been notorious in criminalizing Grassroots HRDs in the past. 

Thanks to all who have expressed solidarity.
1. Rachael Mwikali –  Convener CGHRD Kenya 

2. Cidi Otieno –  SG CGHRD Kenya 

Grassroots HRD Muchangi Nyaga Arrested 

Urgent Appeal 

Report reaching the Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders Kenya indicate that Grassroots HRD Muchangi Nyaga aka Zangi from Mathare was yesterday Tuesday the 20 February 2018 arrested by police and is currently being held at Huruma/John Saga Police Station. It is worth noting that Huruma/John Saga Police Station is notorious for criminalizing Grassroots HRDs using trumped up charges. 
Comrade Muchangi has been arrested on what the police claim as “Incitement” but our local contacts have told us that Comrade Muchangi was progressing forceful eviction that was taking place in the locality. 
The Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders Kenya has established that The National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders is currently sending another advocate to the Police Station to try to Secure his release. 
The CGHRDK condemn Muchangi’s arrest and subsequent detention and is calling for his immediate and unconditional release. 
We also call for solidarity from comrades to ensure that comrade Muchangi is released. 
1. Rachael Mwikali – Convener CGHRDK 

2. Cidi Otieno – SG CGHRDK 

3. Noosim Naimasiah

How Safe is Food Grown in Cities?  

With the increasing Rural – Urban Migration in Africa, Kenya included the demand for affordable and quality food is set to rise. 

Considering that majority of those migrating to cities are young people, the rural areas have been robed of Agricultural Labour leaving the old to tend to farms. This has affected access to quality food for majority of Kenyans. 

How our cities and governments are prepared is a question for another day but considering that the government is already grappling with provision of other basic needs like housing, water and health care it is a pointer to the fact that there are no elaborate plans to address access to food for the urban poor population. 

Several initiatives are being proposed including Sack Gardening, kitchen gardening etc where Urban farmers are encouraged to use small spaces in their neighborhoods to grow food. Many farmers have emerged in open spaces where one is likely to see some farming besides the roads, along river banks and within the estates. 

With our cities lacking plans for waste disposal, fears over the quality of food grown in the cities have been raised and lack of proper coordination of such Urban farming means that the soil, water and air within the cities have been polluted and some of the pollutants like metals get through the food chain through bioaccumulation and biomagnification posing serious health issues. 

That is why the Kenyan Peasants League is running a program aimed at organizing and amplifying the voice of the peasants regarding their rights through formation of small scale farmers clusters, having monthly Farmer to Farmer Dialogue, Indigenous seeds, Indigenous Technical knowledge and plants varieties banking and linking the urban and rural Peasant populations. 

So far KPL is present in Migori, Machakos and Nairobi Counties. 

In the above named counties, KPL is coming up with fora where the rural and urban peasants can influence policies related to food production so that the peasant farmers can take control of the food production systems for livelihoods of the rural and urban household. 

David Otieno 

Policy Chief and Advisor 

Kenyan Peasants League

How to Become a Member of National People’s Assembly (Bunge la Mwananchi) 

All Kenyans who dreams of “another Kenya”; where majority will have access to food, housing, healthcare, education and clean environment among others are eligible and automatic members.

All Kenyans who subscribe to the struggle against issues of oppression, social injustice and arrogant leadership are eligible and automatic members.

All Kenyans who are dissatisfied with the status quo; who believe in the power of organized citizens and who are interested in an alternative and easily accessible platform through which to engage the public are eligible and automatic members.

Kenya is ours all of us and all of us have a God given responsibility to transform Kenya into a safe home for all of us.

How to Become a Member 

You become a member of the National People’s Assembly (Bunge la Mwananchi) by participating in civic activities geared towards realization of above goals in your area.

The National People’s Assembly (Bunge la Mwananchi) aspire to mobilize one Kenyan at a time into a strong political force that will transform Kenya’s politics.  Here’s how to start and build a People’s Assembly (Bunge la Mwananchi) platform in your village, slum, community or area:

1. Believe and become the CHANGE you want to see.

2. Talk about the CHANGE you believe in to your relatives, friends, neighbors, workmates, acquaintances etc

3. Invite your contacts to the local People’s Assembly to discuss, dialogue or debate about local and national issues at your home or neutral place in your community or area.

4. Try and make sure from the discussions, dialogue and debates that there is adopted some form of action plan on local or national issues discussed and relayed to the People’s Assembly structure above until it reaches the National Level 

5. Continue the Local People’s Assembly in your area: daily, weekly or bi-weekly and also actively engage members of your Local People’s Assembly in activities that advance the agenda of social change, link the local struggle to national and international level.

6. Invite resource people, or encourage people you know with particular expertise to attend and address Local People’s Assembly on issues that fall within their field of expertise.

7. Seek to network with other People’s Assembly (Bunge la Mwananchi) platforms.

You can be part of the National People’s Assembly in your own neighborhood by organizing around your local issues simply by rallying your neighbors on common issues and interests.

Become a National People’s Assembly (Bunge la Mwananchi) member today!