Three former university professors have brought a claim in Kenya’s high court asking for restitution for human rights infringements. They seem to me part of a trend to end the culture of impunity in Kenya. The three had been detained and tortured under a previous government, and now, more than 30 years later, wanted recognition of what had happened, plus compensation for how their lives had been ruined by the unlawful action against them. The professors’ court challenge was not the first in Kenya in which compensation was demanded for human rights abuses under the previous regime and the courts now seem more comfortable about agreeing to hear matters arising from decades ago. Going from previous experience, however, I wonder how long the professors will have to wait for the damages, awarded by the courts, to be paid.
Dressed in a pink suit and looking rather bewildered, Nairobi city county Speaker, Beatrice Elachi, is seen on camera watching as protesting assembly members demonstrate in her office. They wanted her to step down and yelled and shouted at her to achieve their aim. Since that day in September 2018, Elachi has been removed from her position – but the demonstrating assembly members are now under investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for their behaviour in her office. Indignant at what they saw as an infringement on their right to “privileged” proceedings, the assembly members went to court. But their reception at the high court in Nairobi was not what they had hoped.