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An Overview of Kenya’s National Policy on Gender and Development 2019



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*

The National Policy on Gender and Development seeks to create a just, fair and transformed society free from gender based discrimination in all spheres of life practices. The National Policy highlights the fact that the patriarchal social order supported by statutory, religious and customary laws and practices; and the administrative and procedural mechanisms for accessing rights have continued to hamper the goal of attaining gender equality and women’s empowerment. The Gender Policy was informed by the observation that although the Kenyan law and the Constitution contain progressive provisions that were expected to address gender inequality, they have not delivered gender equality in practice, thus raising the need to develop a policy that addresses the variety of manifestations of gender discrimination and inequality.

The 2019 Policy builds on the National Policy for Gender and Development of 2000, and Sessional Paper No. 2 of 2006 on Gender Equality and Development which were meant to promote women empowerment and mainstreaming the needs of women, men, girls and boys in all sectors of development in Kenya so that they can participate and benefit equally from development initiatives. The 2019 Policy rightly points out that while there has been emphasis by the Kenyan Government on promoting gender equality in all aspects of its activities, evaluations point to clear gaps in promoting gender equality such as disparities in education and economic opportunities, representation, participation, and adequate access to health, all of which present new opportunities and challenges in the pursuit of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

As a result, the Policy has been designed to guide and ensure that all planning, programming, budgeting and implementation of development programmes include a gender perspective both at National and County levels. The Policy has promised the following focus areas: improved livelihoods, promotion and protection of human rights, participation in decision-making and governance, recognition of gender and promotion of women empowerment in macro-economic management among others. The Scope of the National Gender and Development Policy application is specifically and directly to all Government Ministries, Independent Bodies, Quasi-autonomous entities, and Departments and Agencies both at the national and county levels of government. It is also expected that the principles, strategies and approaches in the policy shall also apply to the, private sector and civil society. The Policy also aims at achieving equality of opportunity and outcomes with respect to access to and control of national and county resources and services; and equality of treatment that meets the specific and distinct needs of different categories of women and men.

However, while the Policy is concerned with all categories and aspects of gender, it has put a special focus on the empowerment of women who are currently considered the marginalized gender. The Policy has identified a set of factors that will act as indicators for measuring the implementation and effectiveness of the gender and development agenda. In addition, the Policy points out that if concerted efforts are made and adequate resources are allocated to the processes of institutionalizing gender equality and the empowerment of women as proposed in this policy, the result will be a fairer and transformed society in which women and men will benefit in the following ways: Equality of treatment and Freedom from Discrimination as provided for under Article 27 of the Constitution; Equality in the political, social, economic and cultural development spheres for women and men; Respect for the human rights of women, men, boys and girls; Respect for provisions on equality in the Bill of Rights in civil, administrative and judicial regulations and procedures and customary, cultural and religious practices; Enforcement of statutory, religious and customary laws within the framework of this policy and the Constitution; and Duty bearers at the National and County levels of Government will be equipped with relevant gender responsive requirements for planning, budgeting and implementing development programmes.

Chapter Two of the Policy dwells on situational analysis and key aspects which impact on Kenya’s progress towards gender equality. The Chapter highlights the following as the major challenges that affect realization of gender equality in Kenya: Poverty; Access to Labour and the Economy; Access to Education; Access to Health Care; Land, Housing and Agriculture; Access to Environment and Natural Resources; Peace and Security; Governance, Power and Decision-making; Information and Communications Technologies (ICT); Respect of Human Rights for All; Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV); Access to Justice; Discrimination between the Girl Child and Boy Child; Intersectional Discrimination; Media Influence; and Institutional Mechanisms for the advancement of Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women.

Chapter Two highlights the specific concerns that arise under each of the foregoing thematic areas affecting the gender debate in Kenya. Chapter three of the Policy document captures that Policy goal, principle and objectives, which are all aimed at ensuring gender equality and women empowerment in the social, economic, political and cultural spheres as envisaged in the Constitution. The framework also seeks to establish and strengthen Affirmative Action efforts aimed at reducing gender inequalities and geographical disparities in the distribution of natural resources and access to productive resources such as land, labour, finances, information and technology. The overall goal of this policy is to achieve gender equality by creating a just society where women, men, boys and girls have equal access to opportunities in the political, economic, cultural and social spheres of life.”

The objectives of the Policy are to: Facilitate implementation of the Constitution and domesticate the international and regional obligations and commitments that promote gender equality and freedom from discrimination; Provide a framework to integrate and mainstream gender into the National and County Government development planning and budgeting as well as resultant policies, programmes and plans including those of non-state actors; Promote and support the rights-based approach when dealing with gender related matters; and, Define institutional framework and performance indicators for effective tracking, monitoring, evaluation and reporting implementation of gender equality and women empowerment. In order to achieve the foregoing, the following approaches will be used: Gender mainstreaming and integration in all planned interventions; Affirmative Action to ensure that temporary special measures are used to address past gender inequalities and injustices; Empowerment of women, men, boys and girls to facilitate equality, equity and non-discrimination; Involvement of men in addressing gender issues; Institutional and human capacity building; Gender responsive development planning budgeting; and, Generating data and indicators that are disaggregated by sex, age and disability.

The 2019 Policy anticipates to achieve the following outcomes: Equality and economic empowerment will be achieved; Diversity of all Kenyans will be acknowledged and respected; Women men, boys and girls will have equal rights and access to education, health, housing, employment, and other services and resources; Women and men will have equality of opportunity to participate in decision making and to contribute to the political, social, economic and cultural development agenda; Promotion of equal rights at the time of, during and on the dissolution of the marriage for spouses; and, Sexual and Gender based Violence will abate and men, women, boys and girls will live with dignity.

Chapter four of the Policy outlines the policy priority areas the Ministry in charge of Gender Affairs will oversee and implement through the institutional arrangements discussed chapter five thereof. Chapter four offers recommendations on the challenges identified in chapter two of the Policy document. Chapter five of the Policy document presents the institutional and implementation framework for implementing the National Gender and Development Policy, where the institutions identified will facilitate integration and mainstreaming of gender concerns as part of their mandates in implementing the policy. According to the Policy document, therefore, implementation of the policy will thus take a multi-sectoral approach cutting across both the state and non-state actors at all levels.

The Ministry in charge of Gender Affairs will however take the leading role of coordinating all the other players in the country so as to enhance harmony and avoid duplication. The Policy document points out that different aspects of the policy will be implemented by various actors including Ministries, Counties, Departments and Agencies, Constitutional Commissions and Independent Offices in collaboration with the private sector, Civil Society Organizations, Faith Based Organizations, among other key actors. Chapter six on monitoring and evaluation envisages that Monitoring and evaluation shall be an essential strategy in the implementation of the Policy in order to ensure that results frameworks on each policy action detailing outputs, outcomes, impacts and key actors shall be developed to facilitate annual plans and development planning processes in all sector at all 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: 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. 


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Republic of Kenya, Sessional Paper No. 02 of 2019 on National Policy on Gender and Development, October 2019.

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News & Analysis

Former KCB Company Secretary Sues Over Unlawful Dismissal




Former KCB Group Company Secretary Joseph Kamau Kania who has sued the Bank for 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.

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Court of Appeal Upholds Eviction of Radcliffes from Karen Land




Adrian Radcliffe, the Expatriate Squatter, Evicted from Karen Property by Innocent Purchaser for Value

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.

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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.

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