International Justice Mission roots for social justice centers, donates office spaces, equipment in Githurai and Dagoretti
By Missing Voices Reporter
Published March 29, 2023
The International Justice Mission-Kenya is committed to strengthening social justice movements in the country by empowering community social justice centers.
The organization has donated office spaces and equipment to both Dagoretti and Githurai Social Justice Centers.
The global organization focuses on protecting people in poverty from violence.
It partners with local authorities in 29 program offices in 17 countries to combat trafficking and slavery, violence against women, children and police abuse of power.
Former chief justice Willy Mutunga was the chief guest during handing over of a forty feet container and office equipment to Githurai Social Justice Centre on Wednesday, March 29, 2023.
He said Githurai has a rich history regarding human rights struggles which he said should be documented for future reference. “This place has great history which should be recorded and shared with other organizations.” He said.
Mutunga was speaking at Githurai 44 sports ground on Wednesday March 29,2023 during official launch of Githurai Social Justice Centre office sponsored by International Justice Mission-Kenya.
He said documenting will help understand the struggles of residents, achievement, their fears among others.
The former CJ said Githurai is cosmopolitan and said it is a true picture of coexistence.
He said he will sponsor a documentary about Githurai. “I will fund my son who works at PAWA 254 to do a documentary in Githurai. This can be shown and sold to visitors.” The former CJ said.
Mutunga said freedom and justice goes hand in hand with good leadership that is keen on implementing the constitution.
He said we cannot implement a progressive constitution without good political leadership. “It is like giving birth to a beautiful baby and giving it to a child trafficker.” Mutunga Said.
IJM-Kenya team was represented by Anne Gitonga, a senior manager policy and partnerships. She said IJM has been working with community justice centers towards protection of the poor and marginalized.
She said, “Today we are launching a forty feet container that will serve as an office space and center to address cases of human rights violations. We at IJM are excited at this milestone and we believe that the container will not only serve as an office but as a centre for justice for all.”
The coordinator Githurai Social Justice Center Njoki Gacanja thanked IJM Kenya for their kind gesture. “We thank all our key partners including IJM-K for our partnership as a grassroot movement. IJM treats us as equals and listens to us. They do not impose things on us but stand with our position.” She said.
Gacheke Gachihi represented the steering committee Social Justice Centers Working Group. “We are committed to supporting grassroots human rights movements.” He said.
Other key guests in attendance included HAKI AFRICA’S Executive Director Hussein Khalid and Steve Biko from ForumCiv and Salima Macharia represented Amnesty International.
Khalid while urging the government to uphold human rights, thanked IJM Kenya for supporting Githurai Social Justice Center through donation of a forty feet furnished container. “We will continue working with grassroots human rights organizations to increase the civic space.” He said.
Government institutions present included the Internal Affairs Unit represented by Julius Rotich, Paul Murkomen represented the Independent Police Oversight Authority while Peter Njue represented the director of Witness Protection Agency.
Njue said their mandate includes protection of prosecution witnesses against any threats and intimidation.
Kenya National Commission on Human Rights was represented by Ruth Mwangangi. She told residents that their rights including demonstrations are protected in the constitution but said protests must be done within the law.
“This is a demonstrations period. You have a right to demonstrate but must do so within the confines of the law.” Mwangangi said. “This place has great history which should be recorded and shared with other organizations.” She said.