Corruption, a stumbling block to upholding human rights

Kenya Human Right Commission (KHRC) Executive Director Mr George Kegoro has said that leaders were not doing much to curb corruption that has becoming an impediment to human rights and urged the public to work with civil society groups to report cases of abuse.
“I would like to urge the public to help us by reporting cases of human right abuses. We’re also aware that corruption has become a thorn in the flesh to this country, we welcome and encourage other stakeholders; civil society organisations, as a whole to work together towards full realisation of the rights,” Mr Kegoro said.
His statement comes at a time the country is faced with Corruption that has deepened and widened since President Uhuru Kenyatta came to power in 2013.
Kegoro was speaking in Nakuru on Friday during commemoration of International corruption and Human Rights, the event organised by Midrift Human Rights Network in collaboration with KHRC.
The event is usually observed on 10 December every year, according to the international calendar. Midrift teamed up with the human rights body to commemorate it earlier before the main event which will held in Nairobion 10 th this month.
This year’s theme, ‘Stand Up for Someone’s Rights Today’ basically calls on everyone to stand up for someone else’s rights while the Anti-Corruption Day is premised on a global campaign, entitled ‘United against corruption for development, peace and security.’
Its main focus is how corruption affects education, health, justice, democracy, prosperity and development.
Midrift Human Rights Network Program Manager Mr Walter Mwania said ignorance by the public about their rights were also hindering the actualisation of the constitutional, legal and administrative measures to guarantee rights.
He said Midrift had recorded considerable improvements in engaging the public on human rights.
“Midrift has been unequivocal in condemning acts of unlawful abuse whenever they occur. We have also been working with security agencies to ensure rights of all Kenyans are respected,” Said Mwansia.
Members of the public and representatives of human rights organisations who were at the gathering, however, criticised the government agencies, saying the laws put on paper were only catching with the poor in the society.
“The situation on the ground was really bad. There is a lot happening that needs to be addressed. We’ve had so many cases of abuse, especially by the security agencies that go unpunished, said David Kinyua, a resident of Bondeni area.
They urged the government needs to address the issue of corruption citing it as a major obstacle to country’s progress.
Grace Wangui, a resident of Flamingo ward narrated a predicament of a young mother, at Nakuru Level 5 hospital who is left unattended for 13 hours even when scans showed the foetus she was carrying was already dead, just because doctors are on strike yet you hear so much money is lost in the Ministry of Health due to corruption.
Mr Kegoro, either noted very little had been done to address the issues of extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and forced disappearances.
KHRC is a National NGO pursuing the core agenda of campaigning for the entrenchment of a human rights and democratic culture in Kenya.
A report by The Independent Medico Legal Unit released last year, documented a total of 1,030 cases of torture and extrajudicial executions between 2009 and 2014.

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