Back to top

Walace Wakaba Gitonga

Land Rights Defender

Walace Wakaba Gitonga is a land rights defender and member of FreeKenya. FreeKenya is a non-profit NGO founded in 2018 and is a nationwide, people driven movement. The organisation promotes a referendum to amend the constitution of Kenya in order to ensure efficient and effective use of national resources and respect for the voice of the people.

While Kenya maintains the appearance of a country where the public space is open, specific categories of human rights defenders encounter a wide range of risks as a result of their work. These include human rights defenders and journalists working on highly sensitive corruption issues, those who document or contribute testimony on past violence (including the 2007/2008 post election violence and frequent extra-judicial killings by the police) as well as those using peaceful demonstrations as an advocacy tool.

Human rights defenders denouncing human rights violations committed by the police forces have continuously faced reprisals. Members of civil society organisations have been repeatedly arrested and subjected to ill-treatment while in detention, received threatening anonymous calls and some have undergone trials under accusations of “belonging to an illegal organisation” and “participation in an illegal protest.”