By Obegi Malack
The Defenders Coalition and partners have launched a campaign dubbed “Climb for Justice,” which aims to raise funds to establish a centre for human rights defenders in Kenya.
The centre will be for protection of human rights and advocating equality.
The centre which will be known as Haki Centre will also be used in pushing for inclusivity in development. It will safeguard human rights, network, share knowledge and build talents to defend the citizenry
Climb for Justice Campaign will offer an opportunity for all Kenyans to be part of supporting human rights in the country by taking part in the climb or being a virtual climber .
Kamau Ngugi, Executive Director, National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders – Kenya said the coalition has been supporting activists.
“It gets them lawyers, bails them out of custody and mobilize public support,” he added.
Indigenous Women Centre for Development Coordinator Nkamunu Patita from Kajiado, who is among the defenders spearheading the event, said they are fighting for recognition of indigenous communities involved in projects in their counties.
She said they are also pushing to ensure marginalized community should be represented in all levels, adding that democratic space for the minority is shrinking and they have to fight for it.
“We want to ensure the human rights defenders have a place to operate form cheaply, we also support freedom of the media, we advocate equal rights,” she explained. She will be climbing Elephant hill Aberdare Range on Saturday 16th November.
Patita wants the government to implement the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) and Ndungu reports.
The TJRC report outlines a range of injustices and abuses that occurred in Kenya between December 1963 and the end of the post-election violence in 2008, and provides a range of recommendations and a clear implementation plan. It was handed to President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2013.
The human rights defender had received support from businessman Anthony Keen, who said he is supporting the initiative to push the government to implement the TJRC and Ndungu report.
Keen said the Maasai community is among communities in Kenya whose land was illegally acquired.
The Ndungu report inquired into the Illegal or irregular allocation of public land. The report was presented to President Mwai Kibaki in 2004 but has never been implemented.
According to the report Mau Forest is part of the land that was allocated to settlers illegally. The Report listed these land allocations, terming them illegal and recommended revocations.
The Climb for Justice Campaign climax will be summit Peak Lenana, Mt. Kenya and hoisting the Kenyan flag by a group of volunteer climbers and supporters.
The fundraiser drive will end on December 12th, 2019 (Jamhuri Day).