The National Gender and Equality Commission has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Commission on Administrative Justice (Ombudsman) to share their regional offices in Isiolo and Garissa respectively.
Speaking in Isiolo town at the Ombudsman regional office, the National Gender and Equality commission Chairperson Dr Joyce M. Mutinda, said that the two sister commissions are allowed by their constitutive acts to work together to serve Kenyans with efficiency and sharing available resources and not that the government is very poor to afford separate offices for them. She noted that the two commissions want to use the available resources efficiently and effectively whether it is human resource or finances and are also expected to work together with the national commission on Human rights.
She added that since it was envisaged that they would work together, soon their collaboration will be seen across the country. Dr Joyce also called upon the members of public from the Counties of Laikipia, Marsabit, Meru, Tharaka Nithi and Isiolo to know that they can be served from the Isiolo office.
On matters electioneering period, Dr Joyce noted that the commission expects women to be taken care of /protected and the youth should keep peace as those are some of their special interest groups. She expressed her faith in people of Isiolo who elected a female senator in 2017 and that this year she hopes that there will be female Member of Parliament and even Members of County Assembly (MCA) from Isiolo County during the august elections.
On matters gender based violence, Dr Joyce noted with concern that female genital mutilation was rampant as well as cases of defilement of minors. She also noted that the man who killed a female activist in Isiolo was apprehended and charged in court and the commission officers have been very active in the county even during the process that ensured Isiolo county has a gender policy that was launched in February this year.
Florence Kajuju, Chairperson Ombudsman said that the two commissions started sharing offices last year and this was a ceremony to formalize their agreement on sharing of resources following the need to decentralize the two commissions’ services. She urged residents of Garissa and the neighboring counties to seek Ombudsman services at the National Gender and equality commission where NGEC hosts the Ombudsman just like the Ombudsman hosts NGEC Offices in Isiolo.