The Uasin Gishu Civil Society Network (CSO Network) has urged caution and restraint in the wake of allegations of human rights abuses at the Uasin Gishu Rescue Centre. The network, led by Collins Kemboi and Nick Omito of the Centre for Human Rights and Mediation, highlighted the potential negative consequences of politicizing the issue.
Impact on Children and Operations:
The CSO Network expressed concern that over 500 children, including ten children living with disabilities, could be negatively affected if the rescue centre is closed due to the controversy. “The politization of the rescue centre will jeopardize the operations at the centre,” said Mustafa Simiu, a peace campaigner. “We need to find an amicable solution that protects the children and ensures the continued operation of the centre.”
Stakeholder Engagement Needed:
Simiu emphasized the urgency of a stakeholder meeting to address the challenges “in an amicable manner so as not to scare away well-wishers and donors who have been supporting the centre.” This collaborative approach, he believes, is crucial to resolving the issue while ensuring the well-being of the children.
Investigation and Transparency:
The CSO Network urged investigative agencies, led by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), to expedite their investigation and provide a comprehensive report regarding the allegations of atrocities at the centre. Transparency and accountability are essential to ensure justice and prevent future abuses.
Allegations of Abuse:
County enforcement officers have been accused of turning the rescue centre into a detention camp, with allegations of brutality, rape, and other forms of human rights abuses. These serious accusations require thorough investigation and appropriate legal action if substantiated.
The Uasin Gishu Rescue Centre serves a vital role in caring for vulnerable children, and its future remains uncertain due to the recent controversy. The CSO Network’s call for sobriety, stakeholder engagement, and a swift investigation is a crucial step towards resolving the issue and safeguarding the well-being of the children entrusted to the centre’s care.