I have drafted this article from The Daily Nation of October 25th 2013, page 56
The Proliferation of illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) continues to pose serious challenges on human security in Kenya. Factors, which promote this, include lack of a coordinated legal framework to conclusively address this problem. The existing pieces of legislation including the firearms Act, Cap 114 Laws of Kenya, developed in 1954 to regulate all aspects of SALW in Kenya, are out of date and limited in scope. Reducing efforts being taken.
To address this concern, the Government appointed the Kenya National Focal Point on Small Arms
and Light Weapons (KNFP) Technical Committee, to harmonize and undertake a complete review of these laws and develop a bill that sets out parameters for permissible behavior, practices and effective measures for enforcement.
Justification for the Bill
While the firearms Act, Cap 114 Laws of Kenya, has enabled the country to tackle Small Arms issues this far, there exists challenges that need to be addressed more effectively. The emerging laws, regulatory and administrative procedures from the Bill are expected to be effective enough on the control over the production of small arms, ammunition, parts and components, their transfer and possession in order to prevent illegal trafficking or their diversion to unauthorized recipients.
The Specific objectives of the review process include:
1. To harmonize legal requirements for SALW with the constitution of Kenya;
2. To align legal requirements for SALW with the draft Small Arms and Light Weapons policy;
3. To align legal provisions on the Bill with the best practices, regional and international Instruments for which Kenya is a signatory; and
4. To comply with the constitutional requirements that provide for public participation in the review process
The identified gaps to be addresses by the Bill are:-
1. Weak controls on the international transfers of SALW;
2. Non-existent controls on the manufacturers, dealers, brokers and gunsmiths;
3. To include legal provisions on emerging international standards and norms such as Amr Marking, Disarmament, Collection and Disposal of Surplus and Surrendered illegal SALW;
4. Enhancement of penalties and Offences
It is in view of these gaps and the emerging trends in armed crime, that the Government set up a technical Committee to draft a Bill on SALW. In fulfilling the constitutional requirement for public participation, the Technical Committee has received views of various organizations and interest groups. To ensure full public participation in the process, the Technical Committee seeks views and memorandum from members of the public which can be sent through the following email addresses; [email protected] and [email protected]
A copy of the Small Arms And Ligh Weapons Draft Bill can be viewed at www.nscpeace.go.ke
E. Mutea Iringo, CBS
Principal Secretary, Interior