Cablegate: Kenya State of Play - Women's Justice and Empowerment


DE RUEHNR #3386/01 2350552
R 230552Z AUG 07






E.O. 12958: N/A

Sensitive-but-unclassified. Not for release outside USG channels.

Ref: A) Meyers-Ranneberger e-mail dated 8-16-07, B) Nairobi 3279, C)
State 112598, D) State 90007

1. (SBU) Summary: At an August 21 meeting with the DCM, Kenya's
primary interlocutors on the Women's Justice and Empowerment
Initiative said they are receptive to moving forward with the
program. At the same time, they want to ensure it meets their
priorities, including help in developing a forensics capability, and
that it does not duplicate or conflict with existing programs that
address awareness raising and victim care and support. End

2. (U) As follow up to ref B and in response to ref C, DCM and
Econ/C met August 21 with Dorothy Angote, Permanent Secretary (PS)
in the Kenyan Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs
(MOJCA). The PS was joined by Dr. Gichira Kibara, Director of Legal
Affairs at the Ministry.

3. (SBU) The purpose of this meeting was to engage at a senior
level with the designated Government of Kenya (GOK) lead ministry -
the MOJCA - in a discussion on how to proceed to design and
implement the proposed Women's Justice and Empowerment Initiative
(WJEI) in Kenya. The DCM outlined the history of the Initiative and
the rationale for the selection of Kenya, and proposed that the next
steps be to form a joint U.S.-GOK design team and to sign an LOA
that would release funds necessary to assign an ICITIP technical
expert to Nairobi to assist with the design and implementation of
the law enforcement component. Responding to Kibara's April 2007
request for a read-out of the January 2006 USG assessment team's
conclusions, DCM reviewed USG thinking. Stressing that it was still
at the conceptual stage and open to refinement and comments from the
Kenya side, she summarized the three-pillared approach that focuses
on strengthening the legal system, raising awareness, and caring
for/supporting victims. The DCM handed over a non-paper that
summarized the conclusions of the January 2006 USG assessment team,
drawing on information provided by Washington in para 3 of ref D.
She also presented the draft Letter of Agreement on Law Enforcement
and Criminal Justice (LOA) and urged Angote and Kibara to review
these documents with a view to quickly establishing a joint design
team for WJEI and signing the LOA.

4. (SBU) Angote and Kibara agreed to review the documents, saying
they would need to cross-check the draft U.S. proposal against the
Ministry's own proposal, first provided to the USG in December,
2005. (Note: Kibara provided a copy of that proposal. We will scan
and e-mail it to relevant Washington offices. End note).
Collectively, Angote and Kibara made the following salient points:

-- The broad principles and components identified for WJEI are
"okay". Implementation details, however, still remain unclear to
the GOK in terms of how each of the three program components will be
implemented, who will control the disbursal of funds and which
government and non-governmental entities will be involved on both
sides. To provide some idea of how one program component - awareness
raising - was being designed and implemented in the three other WJEI
candidate countries in Africa, the DCM handed over a copy of the
July 2007 RFA circulated by USAID/Washington.

-- Kenya's "main area of interest" remains assistance in developing
a DNA forensics capability for the police. Kenya needs a police
forensics lab "yesterday," said a vehement Angote. Training without
the equipment to put it into practice is a waste. Having a modern
forensics capability -- including the capacity to test for DNA in
the case of rape -- is a critical tool in prosecuting gender-based
and all other forms of crime.

-- The Ministry will also have to assess whether WJEI, in whatever
final form, is coordinated properly with other ongoing programs
being conducted to implement the Sexual Offenses Act (e.g.,
education/awareness raising, victim care, and legal reform). Kenya
wants "value addition" through harmonization of
different-but-similar programs.

5. (SBU) Addressing these points, the DCM emphasized the need to
establish a joint program design team soonest so that the details of
WJEI implementation can be developed to the mutual satisfaction of
both sides and so the program can move forward. Angote and Kibara
took this on board and said they would study the U.S. proposal and
respond shortly.

6. (SBU) Comment: Kenya's December 2005 proposal touches on five
broad objectives, three of which appear to dovetail neatly with the
three pillars of the WJEI program. We believe the rub will be the
absence in the U.S. proposal of anything addressing a key element in

the Kenyan one: forensic labs and other crime
investigation/prosecution tools. In this light, Mission Nairobi's
Counter-Terrorism Working Group will be meeting later this week to
consider the option presented in ref A to offer technical assistance
to the GOK in assessing its forensic needs and capabilities.

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