Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery has been ordered to gazette the commencement date of the Public Benefit Organisation Act in 30 days, failure which he will be committed to civil jail.
The order by Justice John Mativo arose out of a contempt application filed by the Trusted Society of Human Rights Alliance. The society was protesting the government’s decision to disobey an earlier order issued for implementation of the PBO Act.
Yesterday, Mativo said it is clear that the government is guilty of contempt of court but instead of choosing to punish he will give them one last chance. Initially, the order issued last October in relation to the matter was directed at the Devolution ministry but the function was moved to the Interior ministry.
The judge now says the Interior CS (pictured), upon taking over the docket, cannot be heard to state that he is not bound by a court order. The society said the Cabinet Secretary’s failure to set a commencement date is illegal.
The group argued that the Act was passed by Parliament in 2012 and should have been gazetted as required by law. The PBO Act sets the stage for voluntary self-regulation. This will allow PBOs to determine standards, certifications and adherence to a professional code of conduct. It also seeks to protect freedom of association. The PBO Act was passed in 2012 and assented to in 2013.
Immediately after justice Mativo’s decision Suba Churchill of civil society reference group said the verdict is a truimph against impunity and the growing culture of disregard for the rule of law.