Africa Rights Talk Podcast Series

A conversation with Commissioner Lawrence Mute and Adv Jared Gekombe

On 22 September 2023, the Centre for Human Rights’ Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit (EIDR) hosted Lawrence Murugu Mute in its podcast series, the Africa Rights Talk. Mr Mute was the Research Consultant for the report: ​​Proactive Disclosure of Information During Elections in Kenya (2021 General Elections). This report is part of the Centre for Human Rights assessment of state compliance with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights 2017 Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections in Africa (the Guidelines). The Kenyan assessment was undertaken in partnership with ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa

In this episode, Mr. Mute and Jared Gekombe discussed the rationale behind the development of the Guidelines by the African Commission and the main findings and recommendations of the report. Mr. Mute outlined the general legal framework on access to information in Kenya and provided an overview of Kenya's compliance with the Guidelines in the 2021 general elections, through the performance of various stakeholders such as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP), the media and the civil society. He also elaborated on the recommendations of the report and lessons that other African countries can learn from Kenya's experience. 

The discussion also took place during the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the African Commission’s Model Law on Access to Information for Africa and Mute outlined some of the milestones and challenges in the access to information landscape in Africa since its adoption.

Lawrence Mute is a lecturer at the University of Nairobi's Faculty of Law. He is a former Vice Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and former Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa. He also served as a Commissioner of Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Nairobi and a Master of Laws from the University of Warwick. 

Jared Gekombe is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree from Moi University, a Postgraduate Diploma from Kenya School of Law, and a Master of Laws (LL.M) in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa from the University of Pretoria. He is a PhD Candidate and Project Officer at the Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria.

The conversation was recorded on 22 September 2023.

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