RoGGKenya could not verify an Amnesty International allegation that Kenyan MPs were sneaking an amendment into a law which would change the IPOA Act so that the police could easily find pretexts to withhold information from the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA). The AI East Africa Researcher had raised alarm over the National Assembly’s Miscellaneous Amendments Bill, 2016, which (he wrote) contained such a provision.We could not trace that Bill NO. 45 itself (neither on the kenyalaw.org-page on the 2016 National Assembly Bills (ext) nor on www.parliament.go.ke ). But we find it mentioned in the Feb. 9 “Votes and Proceedings” of the National Assembly (ext. link). On that day the Assembly Chair conveyed that any proposed changes of the IPOA Act were withdrawn from the bill and therefore not to be discussed any further in Parliament. Which would include the amendments that AI has warned against.
It seems therefore that AI researcher Abdullahi Boru Halakhe was not up to date with his alarm on Feb. 19, 2017 (ext.), in a text that was also published in The Nation (ext. link) and that the issue is not on the table any more.
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Our colleagues in the media are advised to verify with the parliament or otherwise the status of the matter. Last minute lobbying by the IPOA itself may have led to the withdrawal. A meeting of the IPOA with the Assembly Committee on Administration & National Security was at least scheduled to take place on the day of the NA session, 9th Feb., at 11 a.m. (see sitting schedule). Which was a few hours before the session where the proposed amendments were withdrawn.
So it seems that alarms, warnings and the vigilance by the Authority itself have had their effect.
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