Kenya’s Security Act: A Map

Image | Wambui Mwangi

Kenya’s Security (Amendments) Act, 2014, contains a total of 98 clauses, most of which have extended sections and subsections. Here is a brief map of the laws they amend.

Public Order Act
Clauses 2-11 amend the Public Order Act. A few highlights:

Clause 2 (a) amends Section 3 of the Public Order Act, by raising the fine for “usurping the functions of the police” from KES 1,000/- to KES 100,000/-. In the Public Order Act, this clause targets Quasi-Military Organizations. It can be used to target any group understood to be organized in a way that threatens public order.

Clause 4 (c) amends Section 8 (6) of the Public Order Act, by raising the fine for contravening curfew from KES 1,000/- to KES 10,000/-.

Clause 5 (c) amends Section 9 (6) of the Public Order Act, by raising the fine for contravening curfew from KES 1,000/- to KES 10,000/-

Clause 6 amends Section 11 of the Public Order Act, by raising the fine for having an unauthorized “offensive weapon” in public from KES 10,000/- to KES 100,000/-. Note the definition of an “offensive weapon”: “any article made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person, or intended by the person having it in his possession or under his control for such use”

The Penal Code
Clauses 12-14 amend the Penal Code.

Clause 12 inserts a new section into the Penal Code that targets citizen journalism and crowdsourced reporting.

66A. (1) A person who publishes, broadcasts or causes to be published or distributed, through print, digital or electronic means, insulting, threatening, or inciting material or images of dead or injured persons which are likely to cause fear and alarm to the general public or disturb public peace commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding five million shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.

The Criminal Procedure Code
Clauses 15-21 amend the Criminal Procedure Code.

Combined, these clauses increase the hold of the carceral state. Clause 15 permits the police to hold arrested suspects longer than 24 hours, having acquired appropriate permission from the courts. Clause 18 imposes “police supervision,” on repeat offenders. This supervision restricts where re-offenders can live, where they can move, and if they can move. It strips away constitutionally guaranteed rights of movement, privacy, and security of the person for re-offenders.

Extradition (Contiguous and Foreign Countries) Act
Clause 22 amends the Extradition (Contiguous and Foreign Countries) Act. I have not spent time with the legislation to figure out how it functions.

Registration of Persons Act
Clauses 23-25 modify the Registration of Persons Act.

Clause 23 inserts a new portion into this act:
“The Director may establish identification committees or appoint persons as identification agents to assist in the authentication of information furnished by a parent or guardian”

Clause 24 raises the fine for offenses related to having an ID card from KES 15,000/- to KES 200,000/-

The Evidence Act
Clauses 26-31 amend the Evidence Act.

For those who live online, Clause 31 is immediately relevant: “In any legal proceedings, electronic messages and digital material shall be admissible as evidence”

The Prisons Act
Clauses 32-33 amend the Prisons Act.

Clause 32 specifies that prisoners convicted for terrorism or for other serious crimes, will be kept away from other general prisoners—isolated in a “separate prison” or in a special portion of the prison. Essentially, Guantanamo has come to Kenya.

The Firearms Act
Clauses 34-36 amend the Firearms Act.

Clause 36 makes it illegal to own an armoured vehicle without proper authorization.

The Radiation Protection Act
Clause 37 amends the Radiation Protection Act. I haven’t spent time with the legislation to understand how exactly.

The Traffic Act
Clauses 38-40 amend the Traffic Act.

Clause 39 inserts a new fine into the act for vehicles that do not have proper identification plates, from KES 0/- to KES 300,000/-

Clause 40 raises the fine for traffic offenses that do not already have specified penalties from KES 10,000/- to KES 100,000/-

The Investment Promotion Act
Clause 41 amends the Investment Promotion Act by giving the Cabinet Secretary more power.

The Labour Institutions Act
Clauses 42-43 amend the Labour Institutions Act. New requirements are in place for setting up employment bureaus that send Kenyans to work abroad and for recruiting foreigners to work in Kenya.

National Transport Safety Authority Act
Clause 44 amends this Act by placing new restrictions on who may operate certain vehicles.

The Refugees Act
Clauses 45-48 amend the Refugees Act by limiting the number of refugees permitted to be in Kenya to 150,000 or a number to be determined by the legislature; restricting refugees’ freedom of movement, as they must now stay in camps, unless they receive permission to move out of those camps; and limiting the amount of time refugees might need to settle in—refugees must report to Kenyan authorities immediately, whereas previously refugees had a thirty day window.

The National Intelligence Service Act
Clauses 49-59 amend the National Intelligence Service Act by giving national intelligence agencies substantially more power to arrest suspects arbitrarily; enter into any residences and conduct arbitrary searches based on permission from the Director General; and, in general, violate many constitutional provisions that guarantee privacy and security of the person.

Prevention of Terrorism Act
Clauses 60-74 amend the Prevention of Terrorism Act. A few highlights:

12D. A person who adopts or promotes an extreme belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious or social change commits an offence and is liable on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding thirty years.

30A. (1) A person who publishes or utters a statement that is likely to be understood as directly or indirectly encouraging or inducing another person to commit or prepare to commit an act of terrorism commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years. (2) For purposes of subsection (1), a statement is likely to be understood as directly or indirectly encouraging or inducing another person to commit or prepare to commit an act of terrorism if— (a) the circumstances and manner of the publications are such that it can reasonably be inferred that it was so intended; or (b) the intention is apparent from the contents of the statement. (3) For purposes of this section, it is irrelevant whether any person is in fact encouraged or induced to commit or prepare to commit an act of terrorism.

30C. (1) A person who travels to a country designated by the Cabinet Secretary to be a terrorist training country without passing through designated immigration entry or exit points shall be presumed to have travelled to that country to receive training in terrorism.

30F. (1) Any person who, without authorization from the National Police Service, broadcasts any information which undermines investigations or security operations relating to terrorism commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding five million shillings, or both.

(2) A person who publishes or broadcasts photographs of victims of a terrorist attack without the consent of the National Police Service and of the victim commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment for a period not exceed three years or to a fine of five million shillings, or both.

36A. (1) The National Security Organs may intercept communication for the purposes of detecting, deterring and disrupting terrorism in accordance with procedures to be prescribed by the Cabinet Secretary.

(3) The right to privacy under Article 31 of the Constitution shall be limited under this section for the purpose of intercepting communication directly relevant in the detecting, deterring and disrupting terrorism.

39A. The Court shall have due regard to the authenticity and accuracy of the evidence presented before it without undue regard to technicalities of procedure.

The Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act
Clauses 75-84 amend the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act. I have not had time to figure out exactly how. I’m hoping someone else will take up this labor.

National Police Service Act
Clauses 85-95 amend the National Police Service Act. I need to spend more time with them and with the Act to see exactly what they modify, and how.

Public Benefit Organizations Act
Clause 96 amends the Public Benefit Organizations Act. I have not had time to figure out exactly how. I’m hoping someone else will take up this labor.

Civil Aviation Act
Clauses 97-98 amend the Civil Aviation Act. Someone with a better handle on this aspect will have to interpret these amendments.