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The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) has expressed deep concerns over Kenya’s proposed finance bill, citing potential threats to socio-economic stability and privacy rights.

In a statement issued by Hon Commissioner Solomon Ayele Derso, the ACHPR emphasized the need for extensive public consultation regarding the government’s introduction of new taxes. This move has triggered widespread public dissatisfaction and raised alarms within the commission about its impact on vulnerable groups.

Commissioner Derso underscored, “Implementing fiscal measures that affect citizens’ socio-economic welfare demands thorough consultation with affected parties. This is essential to uphold the principles enshrined in the African Charter, safeguarding civil, political, and socio-economic rights.”

Of particular concern is a provision in the finance bill proposing the removal of section 51 of the Data Protection Act. This amendment would grant the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) access to individuals’ financial records without judicial oversight, raising concerns about privacy and civil liberties.

“The commission strongly opposes such measures, as they set a dangerous precedent for government intrusion into personal data, undermining fundamental rights guaranteed under the African Charter,” emphasized the ACHPR.

In response to recent protests against the finance bill, the ACHPR called upon the Kenyan government to uphold the right to peaceful assembly and release individuals detained during demonstrations. Additionally, it urged constructive dialogue with the public to explore alternative fiscal policies that alleviate financial burdens while respecting human rights.

“The welfare of ordinary citizens must be the cornerstone of economic policies,” stated the commission. “We stand in solidarity with the people and government of Kenya in their pursuit of social justice and urge immediate action to address these pressing concerns.”

As Kenya addresses these challenges, the ACHPR reaffirms its commitment to supporting initiatives that uphold human rights and promote inclusive governance practices.

photo source: Google

By: Montel Kamau

Serrari Financial Analyst

21st June, 2024

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