Kenya

Kenyan government put the ‘cart before the house’ on data protection and must live with the consequences, says court

The high court in Kenya has taken a strong line on protection of personal data related to the government’s new ‘huduma’ identity cards. The cards are meant to do away with the need for many cards related to various government services – ID, passport, clinic cards, driving licences and others. Collection and collation of the data needed for the new, all-encompassing cards has already taken place and the cards are now available for collection.

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Top government officials in Kenya have acted with anger to a high court decision throwing doubt on the validity of the country’s new all-encompassing huduma (“service”) identity cards.

The rollout of data collection began in December 2020, and millions of the new cards have already been collected. The government has, however, expressed concern that people are taking so long to collect the balance of the cards.

Fairness at divorce

Two new judgments from the courts in Kenya and Zimbabwe underline changing judicial views about the role of women in building up a family home and the contribution that women, as wives and mothers, may be said, on divorce, to have made. One stresses with new urgency that women who work in the home should stand up for their rights and, at divorce, be prepared to give evidence in court about the significance of their contribution to the home.

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Women facing divorce settlements are often particularly vulnerable to claims that they are not entitled to equal shares of matrimonial property because their financial contributions to the property had been less than the contributions of their former husbands.

Long struggle for justice after failed Kenya coup

Reverberations from Kenya’s 1982 coup attempt were felt once again last week, this time in a high court case brought by former members of the armed forces, tortured in the wake of the failed coup. The plotters had tried to get rid of the then president, Daniel Moi. After being held for more than a year, one of the former members of the armed forces involved in the litigation was subsequently let go without any charges.

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Almost 40 years after a coup attempt that shook Kenya to its foundations, ten former officers have won a long battle for compensation. This followed their detention and torture in the wake of the failed attempt to overturn the government.

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