By Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD (Leading Environmental Law Scholar, Policy Advisor, Natural Resources Lawyer and Dispute Resolution Expert from Kenya), Winner of Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021, ADR Publication of the Year 2021 and CIArb (Kenya) Lifetime Achievement Award 2021*
Kenya and the African continent have for a long time struggled with the issue of gender equality and equity across societies especially with regard to economic, social and political spheres, with the women sometimes bearing the biggest brunt of this inequality and equity and occasionally men in some areas. Various African entities have come up with international and regional legal instruments meant to offer guidelines to countries on the measures to be taken to streamline gender issues in all areas of their people’s lives and development agenda. We briefly review the African legal and institutional framework for gender equality and its relevance to Kenya.
African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Banjul Charter)
The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (also known as the Banjul Charter) is an international (African region) human rights instrument that is intended to promote and protect human rights and basic freedoms in the African continent. The Banjul Charter obligates the Member States of the Organization of African Unity parties to the present Charter to recognize the rights, duties and freedoms enshrined in this Chapter and that they should undertake to adopt legislative or other measures to give effect to them. The Charter also guarantees that every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the present Charter without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, color, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status.
Some authors have however questioned the commitment of African states in upholding human rights or even the effectiveness of the Charter itself in achieving protection of human rights. For instance, it has been observed that while the African Charter is defined as an application of the UN Declaration of Human Rights to the African perspective, and a legal instrument ‘written by Africans for Africans’, it is evident that African governments are less than willing to condemn human rights violations in their own states as demonstrated not only by the emphasis on development and political stability at the expense of human rights but also in the drafting of the African Charter itself.
Southern African Development Community (SADC), 1997 Declaration on Gender and Development and 2008 Protocol on Gender and Development
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Declaration on Gender and Development was made in 1997 on the basis that SADC Member States undertook, in the SADC Treaty Article 6(2), not to discriminate against any person on the grounds of inter alia, sex or gender. In addition, SADC Member States committed to mainstream gender into the SADC Programme of Action and Community Building initiatives as a prerequisite for sustainable development. SADC Member States acknowledged gender equality as a fundamental human right and therefore signed the Declaration on Gender and Development on 8th September 1997 to promote closer regional cooperation and collective action as a means of fostering gender equality and as a reaffirmation of SADC’s commitment to eliminating gender discrimination and mainstreaming gender issues in Southern Africa.
SADC Heads of State and Government signed and adopted the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development in August 2008 with the exception of Botswana and Mauritius. The Objectives of the Protocol are among others to provide for the empowerment of women, to eliminate discrimination and to achieve gender equality and equity through the development and implementation of gender responsive legislation, policies, programmes and projects. It also seeks to harmonise the various international, continental and regional gender equality instruments that SADC Member States have subscribed to.
Generally, the principle objectives of the gender-mainstreaming programme in SADC are to: put in place the necessary institutional mechanisms, operational guidelines and to promote a culture that will facilitate gender mainstreaming in the Secretariat; build the capacity of the staff of the Secretariat and SADC Member States to systematically develop, implement and sustain gender mainstreamed plans, strategies and programmes on an ongoing basis; ensure that the necessary human and financial resources for gender mainstreaming are mobilized for training; capacity building and programme implementation; and ensure that the commitments of the integration and development objectives to gender equality and women’s empowerment are effectively implemented at the Member State level. While Kenya is not a Member State of SADC, the above objectives though not fully implemented by the members offer some guiding principles for Kenya to consider.
African Union (AU), Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa
The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa requires that States Parties should combat all forms of discrimination against women through appropriate legislative, institutional and other measures. In this regard the Protocol requires State Parties to: include in their national constitutions and other legislative instruments, if not already done, the principle of equality between women and men and ensure its effective application; enact and effectively implement appropriate legislative or regulatory measures, including those prohibiting and curbing all forms of discrimination particularly those harmful practices which endanger the health and general well-being of women; integrate a gender perspective in their policy decisions, legislation, development plans, programmes and activities and in all other spheres of life; take corrective and positive action in those areas where discrimination against women in law and in fact continues to exist; and support the local, national, regional and continental initiatives directed at eradicating all forms of discrimination against women.
States Parties are also obligated to commit themselves to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of women and men through public education, information, education and communication strategies, with a view to achieving the elimination of harmful cultural and traditional practices and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes, or on stereotyped roles for women and men.
African Union Solemn Declaration of Gender Equality in Africa, 2004
The African Union Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa was a Member State’s reaffirmation of their commitment to the principle of gender equality as enshrined in Article 4 (l) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, as well as other existing commitments, principles, goals and actions set out in the various regional, continental and international instruments on human and women’s rights, including the Dakar Platform for Action (1994), the Beijing Platform for Action (1995), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW -1979), the African Plan of Action to Accelerate the Implementation of the Dakar and Beijing Platforms for Action for the Advancement of Women (1999); the Outcome Document of the Twenty-third Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (2000); UN Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security; and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (2003). The Members agreed to ensure the active promotion and protection of all human rights for women and girls including the right to development by raising awareness or by legislation where necessary.
African Union Gender Policy, 2009
The overall goal of the African Union Gender Policy is to adopt a rights based approach to development through evidence-based decision–making and the use of sex-disaggregated data and performance indicators for the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment in Africa. It seeks to promote a gender responsive environment and practices and undertake commitments linked to the realization of gender equality and women’s empowerment in Member States, and at the international, continental, regional and national levels.
*This is article is an extract from an article by Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD, Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021 (Nairobi Legal Awards), ADR Publisher of the Year 2021 and ADR Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 (CIArb Kenya): Muigua, K., Revisiting the Role of Law in Environmental Governance in Kenya, Available at: Muigua, K., Actualizing the National Policy on Gender and Development in Kenya, Available at: http://kmco.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Actualising-the-National-Policy-on-Gender-and-Development-in-Kenya-Kariuki-Muigua-Ph.D-October-2020.pdf. Dr. Kariuki Muigua is Kenya’s foremost Environmental Law and Natural Resources Lawyer and Scholar, Sustainable Development Advocate and Conflict Management Expert. Dr. Kariuki Muigua is a Senior Lecturer of Environmental Law and Dispute resolution at the University of Nairobi School of Law and The Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP). He has published numerous books and articles on Environmental Law, Environmental Justice Conflict Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Sustainable Development. Dr. Muigua is also a Chartered Arbitrator, an Accredited Mediator, the Africa Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Managing Partner of Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates. Dr. Muigua is recognized as one of the leading lawyers and dispute resolution experts by the Chambers Global Guide 2021.
African Union, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, 11 July 2003, Available at: https://au.int/en/treaties/protocol-african-charter-human-and-peoples-rights-rights-women-africa (Accessed 18 December 2021).
African Union, Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa, adopted by the AU Assembly in 2004, Available at: https://au.int/en/documents/20200708/solemn-declaration-gender-equality-africa (Accessed 18 December 2021).
African Union Gender Policy, Rev 2/Feb 10, 2009, Available at: https://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/Gender/African_Union_Gender_Policy_2009.pdf
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, “Legal instruments,’ Available at: https://www.achpr.org/ legalinstruments/detail?id=49 (Accessed 18 December 2021).
Organization of African Unity (OAU), African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (“Banjul Charter”), 27 June 1981, CAB/LEG/67/3 rev. 5, 21 I.L.M.
Patrick-Patel, L., ‘The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights: how effective is this legal instrument in shaping a continental human rights culture in Africa?’ (Le petit juriste, 21 December 2014), Available at: https://www.lepetitjuriste.fr/the-african-charter-on-human-and-peoples-rights-how-effective-is-this-legal-instrument-in-shaping-a-continental-human-rights-culture-in-africa/ (Accessed 18 December 2021).
SADC, ‘Southern African Development Community: Gender’ https://www.sadc.int/issues/gender/ (Accessed 18 December 2021).
SADC, ‘Southern African Development Community: Gender Mainstreaming,’ Available at: https://www.sadc.int/issues/gender/gender-mainstreaming/ (Accessed 18 December 2021).
Former KCB Company Secretary Sues Over Unlawful Dismissal
Former KCB Group Company Secretary Joseph Kamau Kania has sued the lender seeking reinstatement or be compensated for illegal sacking almost three years ago. Lawyer Kania was the KCB Group company secretary until restructuring of the lender in 2021 that saw some senior executives dropped.
Through the firm of Senior Counsel Wilfred Nderitu, Kamau wants the court to order KCB Group to unconditionally reinstate him to employment without altering any of the contractual terms until his retirement in December 2025.
In his court documents filed before Employment and Labour Relations Court, the career law banker seeks the court to declare the reorganization of the company structure a nullity and amounted to a violation of his fundamental right to fair labour practices as guaranteed in Article 41(1) of the Constitution. He further wants the court to declare that the position of Group Company Secretary did not at any time cease to exist within the KCB Group structure.
He further urged the Employment Court to declare that the recruitment and appointment of Bonnie Okumu, his former assistant, as the Group Company Secretary, in relation to the contemporaneous termination of his employment, was unprocedural, insufficient and inappropriate to infer a lawful termination of his employment.
“A declaration that the factual and legal circumstances of the Petitioner’s termination of employment were insufficient and inappropriate to infer a redundancy against him, and that any redundancy declared by the KCB Group in relation to him was therefore null, void and of no legal effect and amounted to a violation of his fundamental right to fair labour practices as guaranteed in Article 41(1) of the Constitution,” seeks lawyer Kamau.
Kamau says he was subjected to discriminatory practices by the KCB Bank Group in violation of his fundamental right to equality and freedom from discrimination as guaranteed in Article 27 of the Constitution and the termination of his employment was unfair, unjustified, illegal, null and void.
Lawyer Kamau further seeks the court to declare that the Non-Compete Clause in the 2016 Contract is unenforceable by the KCB Group as against him and is voidable by him as against the Bank ab initio, byreason of the termination of the Petitioner’s employment having been a violation of Articles 41(1) and 47(1) and (2) of the Constitution, and of the Employment Act.
He also wants the Employment Court to find that finding that KCB’s group legal representation by Messrs of Mohammed Muigai LLP Advocates law firm in respect of his claim for unlawful termination of employment resulted in a clear conflict of interest by reason of the fact that a Founding and Senior Partner at the said firm lawyer Mohammed Nyaoga is also the Chairman of the CBK’s Board of Directors.
“A Declaration that the circumstances of KCB’s legal representation by Messrs. Mohammed Muigai LLP Advocates resulted in a violation of the Petitioner’s fundamental right to have the employment dispute decided independently and impartially, as guaranteed in Article 50(1) of the Constitution,” seeks lawyer Kamau.
Kamau is seeking damages against both KCB Group and Central Bank of Kenya jointly and severally for the violation of his constitutional and fundamental right to fair labour practices.
He wants further wants court to declare that CBK is liable to petitioner on account of its breach of statutory duty to effectively regulate KCB Group to ensure that KCB complied with the Central Bank of Kenya Prudential Guidelines and all other Laws, Rules, Codes and Standards, and that, as an issuer of securities, it complied with capital markets legislation.
Kamau through his lawyer Nderitu told the court that he was involved in Shareholder engagement in introducing the Group aide-mémoire that significantly improved the management of the Annual General Meetings, including obtaining approval without voting through the Memorandum and Articles of Association of Kenya Commercial Bank Limited among others.
He said that during his employment at KCB Bank Kenya and with the KCB Group, he initially worked well with former KCB CEO Joseph Oigara until 2016 when the CEO allegedly started sidelining him by removing the legal function from his reporting line.
He further claims he was transferred from the Group’s offices at Kencom House to its offices Upper Hill under the guise that the Petitioner was merely to support the KCB Group Board.
He adds that at that point his roles were given to Okumu for reasons that were not related to work demands. He stated that Oigara at one time proposed that he should leave his role in the KCB Group and go and serve as the Company Secretary of the National Bank of Kenya Limited, a subsidiary of the Group, a suggestion which he disagreed with to Oigara’s utter annoyance.
Kamau stated that his work was thenceforth unfairly discredited, leading to his being taken through a disciplinary process whose intended outcome failed miserably, and the Petitioner was vindicated.
“More specifically, the Petitioner contends that the purported creation of a new organizational structure towards the end of 2020 was in fact Oigara’s orchestration targeted to remove certain individuals by requiring them to undergo interviews in the pretext that new roles were created, and amounted to a further violation of the Petitioner’s fundamental right to fair labour practices under Article 41(1) of the Constitution,” said in his court documents.
He further adds that this sham reorganization demonstrates how the role of the KCB Group Company Secretary purportedly ceased to be and was then very briefly replaced with a new role of the KCB Group General Counsel. The role of KCB Group Company Secretary then ‘resurfaced’ immediately thereafter, in total violation of legal and regulatory requirements.
Court of Appeal Upholds Eviction of Radcliffes from Karen Land
The Court of Appeal has stayed the decision of the Environment and Land Court purporting to reinstate Adrian Radcliffe into possession of the 5.7 Acre Karen Land by Kena Properties Ltd after eviction by the lawful owners in February 2022. Adrian Radcliffe who was evicted by Kena Properties Ltd, the innocent purchaser of the Land for value.
Before his eviction, Mr. Radcliffe had been living on the land as a squatter expatriate for 33 years without paying any rent. Since he moved into the property as a tenant, he only paid deposit for the land in August 1989 despite corresponding severally with the owner of the land. His attempt to acquire the land by adverse possession claim filed in 2005 was dismissed by Court in 2011 on the basis that he has engaged with the owner of the land July 1997 and agreed to buy the land which he failed to do. The High Court [Justice Kalpana Rawal as she then was] concluded that:
“His [Mr. Adrian Radcliffe] averments that he did not have any idea of the whereabouts of the Defendant and that he could possibly be not alive, were not only very sad but mala fide in view of the correspondence on record addressed by him to the Defendant’s wife. I would thus find that the averments made by him to the contrary are untrue looking to the facts of this case.”
On 10th March 2022, Mr. Adrian Radcliffe and Family purported to obtain court orders for reinstatement into the land. However, the Court of Appeal issued an interim stay of execution of the said orders. The Court of Appeal has now granted the application of Kena Properties Ltd and stayed the execution of the Environment and Land Court Order pending the hearing and determination of the Appeal.
The Court also stayed the proceedings at the Environment and Land Court on the matter during the pendency of the Appeal. In effect, the eviction orders issued by the Chief Magistrate Court for eviction of Mr. Adrian Radcliffe in favour of Kena Properties as the purchaser of the property for value were upheld and the company now enjoys unfettered ownership and possession of the suit property until the conclusion of the Appeal.
The Court of Appeal in granting the orders sought by Kena Properties Ltd concurred with Kena Properties Ltd that as the property owner it had an arguable appeal with a high probability of success which would be rendered nugatory if Adrian Radcliffe a trespasser was to resume his unlawful possession of the suit property, erect structures thereon, recklessly use or abuse the said suit property as he deems fit. In any case, that is bound to fundamentally alter the state of the suit property and render it unusable by Kena Properties Ltd as the property owner.
At the same time, the Appellate Court rubbished the argument of Adrian Radcliffe in opposition to the application for stay that he has been in occupation of the suit property for more than 30 years and that he and his family were unlawfully evicted from the suit property on 4th February, 2022. The Court also rejected Radcliffe’s claim that Kena Properties Ltd has no valid title to the suit property and held that as the purchaser, the company was entitled to enjoy ownership and possession of their property during the pendency of the appeal.
The Court dismissed claims of Mr. Adrian Radcliffe that Kena Properties Ltd as the property owner acquired title to the suit property illegally and unprocedurally finding to the contrary. Further, it rejected Adrian Radcliffe’s claim that Kena Properties as the purchaser cannot evict a legal occupier of a property putting paid to the claim that he was a legal occupier at the time of eviction.
As a matter of fact, Mr. Adrian Radcliffe cannot claim to be the legal occupier of the property having attempted to acquire it by adverse possession before the High Court thwarted his fraudulent scheme on 28th February 2011. Mr. Radcliffe did not appeal the 2011 High Court decision meaning it is still the law that he is not the owner of the land nor the legal occupier of the land having attempted to adversely acquire against the interests of the lawful owner who sold it to Kena Properties.
Mr. Adrian Radcliffe is a well-to-do Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) UNICEF consultant and former UN employee (who has been earning hefty House Allowance). Many have wondered why he has been defaulting in paying rent for 33 years on the prime plot of land in Karen while living large and taking his kids to most expensive schools in Kenya. No question, a local Kenyan could never have gotten away with such selfish impunity.
Review: Journal of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 9, No. 1
The Journal of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development, Volume 9, Issue No. 1, which is edited by and published by Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD is out and stays true to the reputation of the journal in providing a platform for scholarly debate on thematic areas in the fields of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development. The current issue published in September 2022 covers diverse topics including Resolving Oil and Gas Disputes in Africa; National Environment Tribunal, Sustainable Development and Access to Justice in Kenya; Protection of Cultural Heritage During War; The Role of Water in the attainment of Sustainable Development in Kenya; Property Rights in Human Biological Materials in Kenya; Nurturing our Wetlands for Biodiversity Conservation; Investor-State Dispute Resolution in a Fast-Paced World; Status of Participation of Women in Mediation; Business of Climate Change and Critical Analysis of World Trade Organization’s Most-Favored Nation (MFN) Treatment.
Dr. Wilfred A. Mutubwa and Eunice Njeri Ng’ang’a in “Resolving Oil and Gas Disputes in an Integrating Africa: An Appraisal of the Role of Regional Arbitration Centres” explore the nature of disputes in the realm of oil and gas in Africa taking a look into the recent continental and sub-regional developments in a bid to establish regional integration. Additionally, it tests the limits of intra-African trade and dispute resolution and the imperatives for the African regional courts and arbitration centres. In “National Environment Tribunal, Sustainable Development and Access to Justice in Kenya,” Dr. Kariuki Muigua discusses the role played by the National Environment Tribunal (NET) in promoting access to justice and enhancing the principles of sustainable development in Kenya. The paper also highlights challenges facing the tribunal and proposes recommendations towards enhancing the effectiveness of the tribunal.
Dr. Kenneth Wyne Mutuma in “Protecting Cultural Heritage in Times of War: A Case for History,” argues that cultural heritage is at the heart of human existence and its preservation even in times of war is sacrosanct. It concludes that it is thus critical for states to take positive and tangible steps to ensure environmental conservation and protection during war within the ambit of the existing international legal framework. In “The Role of Water in the attainment of Sustainable Development in Kenya,” Jack Shivugu critically evaluates the role of water in the attainment of sustainable development in Kenya and argues water plays a critical role in the attainment of the sustainable development goals both in Kenya and at the global stage. The paper interrogates some of the water and Sustainable Development concerns in Kenya including water pollution, water scarcity and climate change and suggests practical ways to enhance the role of water in the Sustainable Development agenda.
Dr. Paul Ogendi in “Collective Property Rights in Human Biological Materials in Kenya,” reflects on property rights in relation to human biological materials obtained from research participants participating in genomic research. He argues that property rights are crucial in genomic research because they can help avoid exploitation or abuse of such precious material by researchers. In “Nurturing our Wetlands for Biodiversity Conservation,” Dr. Kariuki Muigua notes that Wetlands have a vital role in not just delivering ecological services to meet human needs, but also in biodiversity conservation. Wetlands are vital habitat sites for many species and a source of water, both of which contribute to biodiversity protection. The paper examines the role of wetlands in biodiversity conservation and how these wetland resources might be managed to improve biodiversity conservation.
Oseko Louis D. Obure in “Investor-State Dispute Resolution in a Fast-Paced World,” preponderance of disputes between States or States and Investors created need for a robust, effective, and efficient mechanisms not only for the resolution of these disputes but also their prevention. He notes that developing states lead in being parties to Investor-State Disputes (ISD) particularly as respondents. He proceeds to conceptualize and problematize investor-state disputes resolution in a fast-paced world. Lilian N.S. Kong’ani and Dr. Kariuki Muigua in “Status of Participation of Women in Mediation: A case Study of Development Project Conflict in Olkaria IV, Kenya” review the status of participation of women in mediation to resolve conflicts between KenGen and the community. The paper demonstrates a need for further democratization of the mediation processes to cater for more participation of women to enhance the mediation results and offer more sustainable resolutions.
Felix Otieno Odhiambo and Melinda Lorenda Mueni in “The Business of Climate Change: An Analysis of Carbon Trading in Kenya analyses the business of carbon trading in the context of Kenya’s legal framework. The article examines the legal framework that underpins climate change into the Kenyan legal system and provides an exposition of the concept of carbon trading and its various forms. Michael Okello, in “Critical Analysis of World Trade Organisation’s Most-Favored Nation (MFN) Treatment: Prospects, Challenges and Emerging Trends in the 21st Century,” highlights the rationale behind MFN treatment and also restates the vision of multilateral trade to achieve equitable and special interventions with respect to trade in goods, services and trade related intellectual property rights in the affected states.
Former KCB Company Secretary Sues Over Unlawful Dismissal
CR Advocates LLP is the Kenyan Law Firm to Watch in 2023 after Epic 2022
John Ohaga SC Scoops Kenya and Africa Top Arbitrator Accolades
Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD: The Top Arbitrator in Africa
Court of Appeal Upholds Eviction of Radcliffes from Karen Land
Review: Journal of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 9, No. 1
News & Analysis7 months ago
THE TOP 200 ARBITRATORS IN KENYA 2022
News & Analysis9 months ago
The Role of NEMA in Pollution Control in Kenya
Law Firms9 months ago
TEMPLARS Advised Lagos Free Zone Company (LFZC) on Development of Integrated Gas Network
Law Firms1 year ago
Nyaanga & Mugisha Advocates: A Full-Service Boutique Law Firm on the Rise
Law Firms1 year ago
IFLR1000 Recognizes Ngeri, Omiti & Bush Advocates, LLP as Top Tier Firm in Kenya
Law Firms1 year ago
W. Amoko Advocates becomes ANL Law as it Enrolls Two New Partners
News & Analysis7 months ago
The List of the Top 30 Practicing Arbitrators in Kenya
Lawyers1 year ago
Top Lawyers in Africa: Senior Counsel John Ohaga, C.Arb., FCIArb., FAIADR (Kenya)