African court frustrated by Kenya, Tanzania inaction

Monday December 04 2023

Members of the Ogiek community follow proceedings in Nakuru Town, Kenya on February 6,2019. PHOTO | NMG


The African Court on Human Rights and Peoples Rights (ACPHR) has named Kenya and Tanzania as some of the member states that have failed to implement its decisions.

The court’s president Justice Imani Daud Aboud cited the Ogiek land rights case, whose orders the Kenya government is yet to implement.

“This year, we visited Kenya and held talks with President William Ruto. We also went to Sao Tome, Cape Verde and Mozambique with a call to adopt and integrate human rights jurisprudence in their domestic courts. The three countries have signed the MoU with us. In Kenya, the President promised to begin the process of internalising the court’s jurisprudence through parliament,” said Justice Aboud.

Read: Ogiek face new eviction threats

The Ogiek community took the government to the Arusha-based court after the government evicted them from Mau Forest, their “ancestral home.” After a 13-year legal battle, the African Court delivered its judgment in favour of the Ogiek in May 2017, finding seven human rights violations perpetrated against them.

The delay in the delivery of the reparations created legal uncertainties, prompting the court to address the issue again in June 2022.


The Bench dismissed all the arguments by Kenya suggesting it was implementing the earlier judgment.

The Kenya government was ordered to pay compensation to the community of Ksh57,850,000 ($38,311) in material damages and Ksh100,000,000 ($66,225) in moral damages.

The judges also directed that the government take all necessary measures, in consultation with the Ogiek and its representatives, to identify, delimit and grant collective land title to the community and, by law, assure them of unhindered use and enjoyment of the land.

But, to date, the government is yet to implement the orders.

Tanzania faces similar accusation. The Court ruled on Tanzania’s constitution not permitting anyone to petition the election of a president after a winner is officially declared. In July 2020, the ACPHR ordered Tanzania to amend a section of its constitution in favour of the case filed 2018 by Tanzanian advocate Jebra Kambole, arguing that the provision was a violation of his rights.

Read: Tanzania in the spotlight for ‘withdrawal’ from human-rights court

Despite the ruling that Tanzania submit a report within 12 months on the measures it had taken to implement the orders but nothing has happened.

“Largely most decisions have not been implemented by the member states.”