People's Assemblies Social Justice Centres

Tackling Social Injustice with People’s Assemblies?

A Report of the People’s Assemblies Forum held in the Mathare Social Justice Centre’s Creative Hub on August 11, 2023

Why People’s Assemblies?

The people’s assemblies arise from the need of the people to administer and generate solutions to the problems ailing their society. The concept is a people’s driven approach towards creating grassroots strength, solidarity and democracy from a point of popular power to a pool of global solidarity. The assemblies might take different organizational and practical models in diverse communities and in various organizations, making it a viable model for decision making, identifying challenges and building a collective spirit in confronting the social, economic and political issues that exist.

Purpose of the Forum

The people’s assembly forum held in Mathare was an avenue to explore, discuss and generate action points to form, design and structure local, citizen and people’s assemblies in Mathare and other areas within Nairobi. The existing social movements, local groups and institutions are a fundamental element in steering the initial processes. The forum thus drew participants from various established local groups, social movements and members of the community, to examine and deliberate on the model and whether and how it fits into their organizational framework.

Participants in the Forum

The forum targeted 30 participants representing organizations, local groups and members of the community. Mathare Social Justice Centre (MSJC) is one of the social movements organizing around accessing social justice in Mathare and broadly in the whole country. It has worked in close collaboration with other Social Justice Centres in Nairobi, some of which were present at the forum. They include: Githurai, Kayole, Mukuru, and Kasarani Social Justice Centers. Other organizations included the organs of the social justice movement: The Social Justice Centre’s Travelling Theater, The Ecological Justice Network, The Revolutionary Socialist League, The Communist Party of Kenya, the Young Communist League, and Shantit-Mathare (a youth-led group). This was in collaboration with women led assemblies, Grassroots to Global and assemblies from Scotland.

History of Assemblies in Kenya

To make sure the participants knew the full potential of the forum, the participants went through the history of the assemblies in Kenya. With a case study and introduction of Bunge, the Peoples Parliament. This is an assembly’s model that formulated and demanded major social and political reform processes in the history of Kenya. The setup was said to be an open conversation in Jeevanjee Park, a green space in Nairobi where people debated ideas, invoked public participation, and agreed on the best direct action strategies to apply to the imminent needs of the society. Some of the impacts included leading the campaign against the high cost of Unga (flour). There were no doubts that the initiative saw through important social impacts and constitutional gains in Kenya. This was the model that led to the inception of the social justice factor and the formation of the Social Justice Centres. The objectives were targeted towards influencing citizen-led processes and inspiring the spirit of direct-action by local people. There was visible insistence on the need and urgency to build power from below, to protect our democratic gains, and advance local, people-led action.

Different Types of Assemblies

The participants went through the different types of local assemblies as being: 1) The People’s Assembly; 2) The Citizen Assembly; 3) The Delegate Assembly.

They further explored the formations, structure and design of the various types of assemblies, the impact and the levels of interactions in each of the assemblies. Assemblies serve as an alternative to the fragmentation and compromise of individual organizations. Organizations are embedded in the actions by the people. The participants delved into the impact and organization of the past and contemporary assemblies in Kenya and internationally with a case study of the East African women-led assemblies (including the Ogiek, the Sengwer and many other communities), which are organizing assemblies around the land question, and have successfully made challenges and won in the African Court of Justice. The forum went further to assess the questions of land in the Democratic Republic of Congo, political conditions in Uganda, and the assemblies in Scotland. The activities included practical learning experiences such as group discussions and site visit to the Mathare People’s Park. An ecological justice park reclaimed along the Mathare River. For an expanded version of the presentation given on all this, please see here.

Local assemblies are among the alternatives towards building a pool of popular power from below. There exist countless hurdles within our individual organizations and in communities that can be flattened through a collective approach such as people’s assemblies. People’s parliaments envision and design how our society should look, and we see our assemblies as reclaiming and building on that tradition.

Focus of Deliberations

  1. Building Local Assemblies

The participants saw the process towards the formation of the local assemblies as best to commence from an organizational level. Thereafter, identifying the issues for diagnosis and planning the local assemblies. The issues for the assemblies to focus on were to begin from the direct lived experiences affecting local people. In this case, issues of pollution and environmental degradation appeared to be the primary questions at play. This being agreeable, artistic and creative organizing, like the community theatre, were seen as reliable ways of communicating complex ideas and building broader engagement. This was to be achieved through organizing consistent, structured meetings building towards the assembly, developing clear internal structures (e.g. working groups to look at different aspects of the process, clear and transparent internal decision making processes etc), organizing dialogues with different actors, and outreach sessions to popularize the assembly.  The organizations were to guide through the process, in effect forming the basis of a steering group with accountability to the process and all those involved in it.

2. Building National Assemblies

The path to building national assemblies to discuss national matters, was to come from the various local assemblies organized in community spaces. The local assemblies will then project their ideas through to the national assembly. This would require utmost consistency, vibrancy, commitment and a resounding strengthening of our ties with the local and national issues. It would then be important to agree on a structure to apply to that, which will be the subject of ongoing popular education through community theatre and community dialogues, which can feed into a broader conversation about the kind of national assembly Kenya needs and wants.

3. Challenges

In achieving this, various issues to handle and prioritize in the planning of assemblies were highlighted. Many of these challenges impact much more than just the assemblies, but we present them here, together, with some suggestions on how their impact can be addressed within the planning and running of the assemblies themselves:

The Ecological Crisis : This is an ongoing challenge for all of us, but it impacts, particularly, those already dealing with high levels of poverty and social alienation. In relation to the assemblies, we see the need to be able to provide sheltered spaces for the assemblies to happen within and will focus on this in our fundraising efforts..
Extrajudicial Executions : Again, this is an ongoing challenge, and could potentially keep people away from assemblies. We will address this to the extent we can by ensuring a strong communications strategy, which attempts to keep the assemblies in the public eye and by building a network of other communities also holding assemblies, as a way of building mutual care and additional public visibility. We will also self-document the assembly process and have a working group dedicated to security.
High Cost of Living : This is one of the issues that the assembly may address directly, but it also impacts on whether people will engage with the assembly. We can potentially address this by fundraising to provide food for those who attend and also potentially include workshops on mutual aid as satellites to the main assembly.
Crime and Unemployment : The intention of the assemblies is to find shared solutions to the root causes of many issues, including crime and unemployment. We will attempt to either address these directly as subjects within the assembly, or, as above, create satellite workshops giving people space to think through and collectively address these issues alongside it.
Tribalism : Tribalism has become highly politicized, so it’s vital that we come to a shared understanding on how the assemblies will approach it. While accepting the cultural importance of identity, we see the assemblies as operating underneath this, at the level of our shared, human interests and will develop our communications strategy along these lines.
Lack of Water : We will fundraise to ensure we can provide clean drinking water for those attending the assemblies.
Lack of Communication : As is clear from the above, a strong communication policy will be essential to the success of the assemblies. This will focus, not only internally on those living in the area each assembly is focusing on, but also externally, towards the wider public and (for the national process) internationally. It is essential that we develop our own clear strategy for this, building as much as we can on personal relationships of trust, since mainstream and social media are largely captured and are likely to be used to work against the assembly process.
Corruption : Again, this is an issue that may be core to the question the assemblies are directly addressing. We will want our process to be as clean, clear and transparent as possible and to ensure that good internal communications can identify and report on any attempts to unfairly influence the process.

Challenges might arise from groups and individuals seeking to use such an assembly process to advance their own interests, and from a lack of communication between those engaged in advancing the process. This requires us to build a strong shared commitment to addressing social injustice, and to commit to building the structures to overcome injustice and division. 


1. Planning of the first People’s Assembly in Mathare, in one of the community sites, around the issues of ecological justice and state violence.

2. The need to popularize Local Assemblies towards building the National Assembly.

3. The importance of utilizing community spaces, such as green spaces, to protect and advance grassroots democracy.

4. The urgency to unify organizations within our communities and build unified approaches to local assemblies towards addressing various challenges.

Report prepared and compiled by the coordinating committee: Gacheke Gachihi: Mathare Social Justice Centre; Kinuthia Ndung’u: Communist Party of Kenya; Justin Kendrick: Scotland People’s Assembly; Eva Schonveld: Grassroots to Global.

Moderators: Njeri Mwangi: Mathare Social Justice Centre; Eva Schonveld: Grassroots to Global. 

Campaign Against Drugs & Crime Dada Talks GBV Campaign Women in Social Justice Centres

Women’s Football Against Gender Based Violence

Women Against Gender Based Violence is an initiative of the SGBV Campaign at Mathare Social Justice Centre (MSJC), in collaboration with grassroots organizations’ advocating against gender based violence and drugs and crime in Mathare. Mathare is one of the largest informal settlements in Nairobi, with almost 300,000 inhabitants in population, the majority of whom are youth. The rate of gender based violence related cases has been growing in the post-covid period.

Kenya has undergone slow progress in realizing an end to gender based violence and inequalities. However, the process has witnessed obstacles and hurdles due to the societal differences that exist within our various communities. Most of the informal settlements in Nairobi are prone to social injustices and gender related violence, which is intricately connected to the social factors at play.

The majority of the population in Mathare lives under the constant challenge of poverty, thus making them prone to abuse and exploitation. Mathare Social Justice Centre (MSJC) has documented and championed for social justice against sexual violence and other human rights abuses such as rape, domestic violence and defilement. Most of the violations happen from the normalization of the violence within the community, and the exposure of children and young people to the harsh environment has contributed to the increasing rates of gender based violence within Mathare.

On Thursday August 17th, 2023, the “End Gender Based Violences and Sexual Harassment Tournament” was aimed at creating a platform for interaction, exchange and advocacy against the culture of the normalization of gender based injustices. The initiative was inspired by the need to interlink social injustices to all spheres affecting women including their livelihoods and empowerment. Therefore we must prioritise the creation of safe spaces and an environment for the people. The tournament brought various individuals and organizations, which permitted a rich opportunity for robust discussions, healing and advancing to the next step towards realizing an end to gender based violence in Mathare.

The tournament targeted the young mothers who mostly got pregnant at a tender teenage period. Some of whom are referred to as MSJC teen moms. Other objectives of the tournament included the generation of mechanisms to influence policy. Gender based violence cases seem to take a longer period to be processed or acted upon. Members of the community, on the other end, fail to understand or know the what to do when faced with cases of this nature. Therefore, it was important to create awareness of the existing policies, and enable an environment to discuss the challenges in addressing these grave situations. The tournament was held at the Austin Grounds in Mathare with various teams and participants from the Mathare community. It was a collaboration of the Mathare Social Justice Centre (MSJC) and the Coalition of Grassroots Human Rights Defenders. Other centres and committees present included the Githurai Social Justice Centre, Kasarani Social Justice Centre and the Ecological Justice Movement.

MSJC teen moms is a support group comprising of young women aged between 13yrs – 19yrs in Mathare. The team’s works towards community transformation, and fighting the systemic violence against women and young girls in Mathare. They also want to find practical means of sustaining themselves through art for social justice. The group is roughly 30 teenage moms from Mathare, who are actively engaged in community initiatives.

On, Thursday, August 17th, 2023, the MSJC teenage moms support group held a match against the CGHRD young mothers in the “End Gender Based Violence & Sexual Harassment Tournament.” Recently, there has been an observable rise in the number of cases of sexual and gender based violence against teenagers aged between 15-19 years. Most of the cases are perpetrated people close to the victims. From family members to friends, and people they know. After the crude encounter with the injustice, most victims tend to isolate themselves from the community and general reality.

The tournament’s main objective was to create awareness on the
fight towards ending these kinds of violences in Mathare as a whole. It also served as a psychosocial support extension for teen moms. The tournament was well attended by the members of the community, and especially men who were the target. After the
tournament, we had an interactive dialogue on the same theme that involved different actors and members of the community. The forum’s purpose was to stir a discussion on the way forward and the next action points. It was also meant to instigate a debate and offer a platform for community assessment and deliberation on issues related to gender relations and the increased rate of gender violence.

As a guide to the action plan, the participants proposed the following:

  1. Organizing monthly football tournaments to create awareness and intensify advocacy against gender based violence.
  2. Consistent documentation and referral of gender based violences. This needs an active gender based violence desk in specific zones, and during the tournaments.
  3. Collective design of mechanisms to promote psychosocial support among victims and survivors of gender based violence.
  4. Adopt creative modes like art, sports and theatre to sensitize and advocate against gender based violence.
  5. Consistent reflection, analysis and proposal of relevant policy.
  6. The creation of a collective framework in the fight against gender based violence.
  7. A campaign on drugs and crime in Mathare and other informal settlements.

More pictures from the tournament are below:

EJE Campaign Elections Mothers of Victims & Survivors Network Police Brutality

The Untold Terror of Police Violence during Maandamano

The protests that began on March 20th this year left behind a trail of terror. But most of the damage and loss experienced in the informal settlements has not been fully accounted for. The reasons for under-reporting are that most of the victims fear threats from authorities: being arrested, forcefully disappeared or killed. Also, they know that it will be a long painful road to justice — if they ever get it.

At MSJC we have been working to document these violences since the protests began in March. In a brief report we highlight some of the cases we have been following up on since early this year. These include the death of a two month old and a 13 year old: from tear gas and police bullets respectively.

None of these protests were witnessed in the leafy suburbs where the selfish politicians from both divides reside. None of their children lay in the cold slabs of the morgue with poor parents unable to give them decent burials. Our communities continue to be the collateral of their selfishness, but we won’t stop demanding and working towards justice.

Here is a link to the report:

Below are some cases we are following up on:


NameNature of Case
Victor Juma, 24Arrested while confronting the police who threw teargas into his house, which affected his 2 year old daughter who fainted
Jeremiah Mwengi, 13Shot in the back of the head and died while being taken to Kenyatta hospital
Godwin Omondi Omwandi, 40Shot in the leg during the protests
Kevin Omondi, 16Shot in his private parts
Nijer Oduor, 10Three fingers chopped off by an unknown object thrown by the police
Caleb Noah, 31Shot in the leg from behind while going to pick his child from school
Loise Akinyi, 45Bullet scratch on left arm
Isaac Odhiambo, 19Hit and wounded on the head by a teargas canister 
1)Cornel Fuka, 72)Paul Mathius, 63)Sarah Fridah, 104)Fabrigas Zami, 2 monthsA tear gas canister was thrown inside the house where their parents had hid them for safety. The tear gas choked and burned them.
Francis Oponde, 34Injured on both legs by a tear gas canister
Annette Achewa, 14Was shot in the back of her shoulder
Isaac Adhiambo, 19Was cut deeply on the head by a tear gas canister 
Valentine Wairimu, 2 monthsShe was affected when tear gas was thrown on the roof of their house; she became unconscious. Valentine
died at Brother Andre hospital while receiving first aid.
Alfred Odongo Obura (40) and four othersThey are all accused of stealing gas cylinders from Shell Petrol Station on Juja Road. They are at Industrial Area Prison
since they didn’t have the 400k bond
requested by the court. The hearing is
in October.
Campaign Against Drugs & Crime

Campaign against drugs & crime

By Waringa Wahome

Our local community forum, which was held on Friday, June 2nd, involved strategic deliberations aimed at action against drugs and crime in Mathare. It was convened by the Campaign Against Drugs and Crime of Mathare Social Justice Centre (MSJC), and in partnership with Haki Africa. The meeting was attended by 44 people, among them youth and the elderly from the different sectors; local traders, business people, persons in recovery from drugs and crime, youth group members, community based organizations, local village elders and community members. The main objectives of the forum was to analyse and reflect on drugs and substance abuse. Above all to: (1) Identify factors that drive young people to drugs; (2) Understand the linkage between, drugs, crime and violence; (3) Examine the role that poverty plays in driving young people to drugs; (4) Evaluate and agree on what is to be done going forward. 

In April 2022, Lucy Wambui, our member and local convenor of the Mothers of Victims and Survivors Network, wrote

We can see that the government also has a role to play, they create and sustain this negative environment. When I interacted with most youths here in Mathare, I understood why the Kenyan authorities and young men in the slums play a cat and mouse game: they are like water and oil, they can never mix. According to most youths in the area, they say that instead of police officers maintaining law and order and protecting life, they make crime increase. The police are the ones who provide guns to them to go and commit crimes, and police get money from drug dens, ensuring that drugs are always sold where poor people can see them, where poor people live. At the same time, the police are arresting youths daily using fabricated charges, and some end up being disappeared and others are killed by police. This makes youths get into crime and use drugs because they have given up on life, and they don’t know who will be next in the hands of a killer cop. 

From this article, it was evident that drugs are intended to make young people in Mathare blind to the harsh realities here, and to accept the hardships caused by poverty and structural violence. In Mathare, the most thriving businesses are selling chang’aa (a locally home-distilled brew considered to be an illegal brew) and the sale of hard drugs. Communities such as Colombia, Nigeria, Kosovo, Bondeni, Mathare 3A and 3C, and Mabatini in Mathare, are mostly associated with chang’aa and/or hard drugs. These have been the most violent stricken areas in Mathare over time and in the recent skirmishes. The young people, some in their late teens, are allegedly the most involved in drugs and consequently in crime. These areas are also where most young people killed by the notorious killer cops come from.

MSJC’s membership set the scene at the meeting and introduced the campaign. The Campaign Against Drugs and Crime was birthed as an intersectional outcome of our other eight campaigns, and it aims to monitor and participate in the fight against drugs, crime, violence, extrajudicial killings and related issues. 

The community best understands the effect of drugs, crime and violence. The sale of hard drugs in Mathare exists under very unclear circumstances: sale, consumption and trafficking has been conducted in so much openness but still too much opaqueness. It seems to also thrive in extensive conditions of hopelessness, fear and violence. One attendee at the meeting, who happened to be a community leader, narrated her experience while trying to fight against hard drugs in her area, Kosovo. Her home was raided and she was consequently charged with trumped up charges in a bid to threaten her to keep silent. 

In a deeper analysis, the major effects of hard drugs include the high rates of school dropouts and early pregnancies. During the open session, most people reflected on the interconnectedness of school dropouts and early pregnancies, and the subsequent rise of crime and substance abuse.

Many people under the age of 18 are getting married, renting houses, raising “homes” and surviving through involvement in crime. Other effects that came up during the consultative forum include: poor hygiene, sexual violence that was leading to a rise in sexually transmitted diseases, insecurity, a rise in sex trafficking and prostitution. It was also apparent that children born in a family with a case of drug abuse, more often than not, follows the same parental experiences. 

It was also understood during the forum that these hard drugs do not originate from Mathare, nor are the main peddlers from Mathare. The pushers, who might be from Mathare, are in the business of sourcing for income. Other drugs, like cosmos and yellow, are alleged to have come from Mathare Mental Hospital and pharmacies that sell these drugs easily to the community.

Also, most of the aforementioned areas, like Colombia and Nigeria, have no administrative authority from chiefs, the police or the D.O or D. C., and extortion and violence forms the order of each day. Attendees noted that the recent gang fights in Mathare, which saw seven young people profiled and threatened by killer-cops on Facebook pages, were actually drug related violence disguised as ‘idle youth’ gang wars. 

Drugs have continuously unified young people, who eventually form gangs mostly utilized by politicians to achieve their interests, which in most cases are personal. These gangs are, in most cases, culprits of the different forms of violence in Mathare. Thus, in order to achieve peace and security, the attendees opined that the solution would require an advocacy campaign and an organization- based approach against drugs and violence. There is also an oversupply of drugs.

Elderly men and women in attendance had also been victims of hard drugs. Idleness and poverty were highlighted as the cross-cutting issues. The participants agreed that the community must have agency to deal with issues related to drugs and crime since the authorities seemed to be complicit in the many violent cycles of drugs and crime in Mathare. 

In conclusion, the participants agreed that unemployment is a common factor that had led young and old people in Mathare into drug use. Most of the participants reflected that the problem of extrajudicial killings had to be handled from its core, identified to be two main factors: drugs and crime. 

Young people were also advised to be considerate of the future, to reform and turn into defenders of their human right to dignity instead of succumbing to hopelessness. They also said that instead of arresting those victims of drugs, rather those who allow for the peddling and sustenance of the hard drugs business in Mathare should be detained. The people in Mathare live in destitute conditions, most have no access to food or nutrition, have no access to safe and clean drinking water, and there is no quality education; all of these issues cause the present situation.

The participants agreed to form a committee against drugs and crime, which would be coordinated under Mathare Social Justice Centre. This committee would monitor the trend of drug use and advocate against drugs, crime, violence and extrajudicial killings. 

Below is what the committee has decided to do:

 Draft a program of demands on employment and social justice 

 Organize community barazas targeted at advocacy against drugs and crime 

 Organize consistent activities that bring the Mathare community together to allow for community advocacy against drugs and crime. This includes tournaments, different forms of art, graffiti and concerts, local barazas, community cafés and focus group discussions

 Conduct consistent research, monitoring and documenting cases of drugs, crime and extrajudicial executions

 Consistent engagements with the different stakeholders on the campaign against drugs and crime

The slogan adopted during the engagement was:









EJE Campaign Police Brutality Solidarity

ODPP visit to highlight the profiling of Mathare youth

The killing of young people in Mathare and the normalization of this injustice is what sparked the emergence of MSJC. For the last nine years, MSJC has campaigned against extrajudicial killings and the cleansing of young people in informal settlements.

First it is arbitrary arrest, followed by extortion, enforced disappearance and the final stage is death. This has been the fate of hundreds of men in Mathare. Our Who is Next report documents over 800 killings by police in Kenya from 2013 – 2016.

Our campaign has been successful in ending the normalization of EJEs in Mathare. But the killings have reduced, not ended. The police have changed tactic and they now profile young people as criminals on Facebook and then they later kill them. They then parade their dead bodies on Facebook like trophies. A very colonial practice.

See here a screenshot from the vigilante police group: “Nairobi Crime Free.”

On the evening of 23rd May 2023, a notorious Facebook page with the name ‘NAIROBI CRIME FREE’ made a post threatening seven known young people from Mathare 3C. See above. The post is made through one account believed to belong to the page’s admin, known as Saigonpunisher James. The post was directed to warn the group of seven, who are members of Vision Bearers Youth Group.

Vision Bearers Youth Group is a self-help group in Mathare 3C area that was formed in 2017 to rehabilitate youths who had reformed from the difficult life of crime and violence in Mathare. The group’s main programs are acrobatics and traditional dance, garbage collection, food programs for kids and urban farming for food security where they work closely with the MSJC ecological justice campaign. Vision Bearers have 18 members, both men and women, and their future plan is to have a piece of land that they can use for ecological farming and to have a small community library.

Last week there were politically instigated skirmishes in Mathare, and almost 50 houses were burnt, and up to ten people were injured. It is alleged that the violence started because of a stolen boda boda from Number Ten area, but politicians and the police took advantage to fuel the violence that was going on. It is during this crisis that Saigonpunisher James, of the vigilante NAIROBI CRIME FREE Facebook group, profiled and threatened the young men from Vision Bearers Youth Group, saying that they were thugs who are terrorizing Mathare residents. These assertions were to mislead the public and to justify the premeditated murder of these young people.

To fight this police impunity, on Friday May 26 2023, MSJC, together with Vision Bearers Youth Group and Haki Africa, hosted and presented a petition to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP). This petition, available below, focuses on the lack of response by security agencies in addressing reports of delays in the administration of justice, resulting from incidences of ethnic skirmishes, profiling of youths, enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings, drug abuse and crime in Mathare. The right to life is absolute and it is our right to live with dignity even as we strive for social justice in Mathare.

Our collective petition gave the following recommendations to the ODPP:

  1. Map and order the Inspector General of Police to investigate the faces behind pseudo social media accounts allegedly being used to profile young people as a strategy for preparing the ground for their possible execution and/or enforced disappearance;
  2. Order for the investigations of all cases petitioned during this forum to determine any incidences of culpability of any member of the criminal justice system with a view to instituting legal action against those found responsible for compromising the criminal justice system;
  3. Investigate alleged involvement of political leaders, local elders and security agencies who are responsible for inciting the youth to get involved in conflicts and insecurity, including use of ethnicity as a card for polarization and incitement;   
  4. Investigate allegations of failure by authorities to address the problem of hard drugs trafficking and use, which the community considers as a factor which influences youth involvement in crime;
  5. Apply your experience in collaborating with the CSOs fraternity to propose mechanisms for building and sustaining trust between communities and grassroots human rights defenders on one hand and security agencies and other criminal justice actors on the other hand, hence providing a space for effective use of community-led intelligence as a tool for fighting crime in Mathare; 
  6. Criminal justice actors in Mathare should agree on the formation of community peace and security committees with representatives from local communities, CSOs and government representatives to work together to fight crime as well as promote community cohesion; 
  7. Involve more youths and women in peace and security initiatives including those who are reforming from crime since they can be effective peace and security champions; 

We thank HAKI Africa and Noordin Haji of the ODPP for making the time to visit our community. We hope together we will prioritise the right to life, dignity and justice struggles of all of whom are under threat of police and state impunity.

The full petition is available here:

Pictures of the visit are below:

African Social Justice Network Women in Social Justice Centres

African Women Shaping Democracy

Two powerful women at MSJC, Rahma Wako and Njeri Mwangi, were featured in Luminate’s “African Women Shaping Democracy” article.

We celebrate the important work that Rahma and Njeri are doing, and continue to be inspired by their work to build community power and dignity.

Viva Mama Rahma and Njeri viva!

EJE Campaign Police Brutality

Police Use of Lethal Force – Report

MSJC was part of a collaborative study on the use of lethal force by the police. The purpose of the study was “to analyse the use of force by the police in Kenya” in 2021.

This important study brings together the work of organisations including the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), the Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU), the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI), the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF), MSJC and Laboratorio de Analise de Violencia.

The critical findings and recommendations in the report are accessible through this link:

African Social Justice Network

Building African Movements

Between November 2 – 4, 2022, there was a convening of social justice movements from diverse African contexts in Nairobi, Kenya. This meeting was organized by the Tshisimani Centre For Activist Education and hosted by Mathare Social Justice Centre (MSJC), and is intended to build-up to a larger convening in Africa in 2022: where social movements in Southern and East Africa will come together to share strategies’, learn, and strengthen activism.

The two-day gathering brought a lot of learning through group discussions, readings, artistic processes, engaging pedagogy, cultural night, and site visits to the Ukombozi library, Mathare Social Justice Centre, and Kayole Social Justice Centre.

You can download the report of the convening here:

EJE Campaign Mothers of Victims & Survivors Network Police Brutality

Charge Killer-Cop Rashid!

After many years of community appeals, and the brave work of activists, killer-cop Rashid is scheduled to face his day in court, since the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) have accepted IPOA’s investigations about his role in the killing of two youth in Pangani — killings that were filmed and were broadcast across the nation five years ago in 2017.

We are here to say, as we have been documenting since 2016, that killer-cop Rashid has killed many more of our brothers, some of them as young as 12 years. We document and keep documenting. For those defending him, and as he continues to protest his innocence, please see here a list of 43 young people killed by Rashid in Mathare and more in our 2017 report: Who is Next.

This list was compiled by Mothers of Victims and Survivors in Mathare, whose children have also been killed by police bullets.

We will not be silent. We will be in court to watch the prosecution of Rashid. And we will keep fighting for our children.

1.Christopher Maina21/02/201725yrsMlango kubwa
2.Clinton Kioko16/06/201718yrs 
3.Peter Gachichi Gitau01/01/201720yrsMlango Kubwa
4.Kelvin Gitau14/04/201925yrsEastleigh
5.Paul Munyoki Monthe31/12/201719yrsMlango Kubwa
6.Dennis Mugambi07/12/201618yrs 
7.Mbatia 30/11/2016  
8.Saidi 18/04/201618yrs 
9.Nicholas Maina Gitau20/05/2018  
10.Francis Karani8/04/2017 Mlango Kubwa
11.Papa   Mlango Kubwa
12.Josh   Mlango Kubwa
13.Santos   Mlango Kubwa
14.Tobias 5/05/202017yrsBH
15.Jarred Nyausi1/03/2021 Mlango Kubwa
16.Abdul 17/05/202119yrs 
17.Marcus Irungu1/03/202112yrsMathare 3c
18.Samuel Ngure and 2 others24/08/2019 Mlango Kubwa
19.Emmanuel Chaku20/05/202127yrsMlango Kubwa
20.Brian  17yrsWhite Castle
21.Peter   White Castle
22.Ian Mutiso9/08/202124yrsMlango Kubwa
23.Francis Ondego 27yrs 
24.Fadhili Mohammed 22yrs 
25.Pato  21yrs 
26.Calvin Ochieng 22yrs 
27.Maurice Odhiambo 23yrs 
28.Mavine Ochieng  18yrs 
29.Kelvin Omondi  Mathare 4A
30.Alex Mwangi09/08/201919yrsMathare 3C
31.Cosmos Muteithia25/12/201722yrsJuja Road
32.Joseph Kahara27/05/201718yrsMlango Kubwa
33.John Kibe29/04/2021 Mlango Kubwa
34.Joseph Mbuthia Kamau 28/01/2018 Mlango Kubwa
35.Oredo  20yrsBH
36.Peter Maina7/05/201821yrsMlango Kubwa
37.Benson Karindo17/04/201921yrsMlango Kubwa
38.Charles Njogu23/01/2010  
39.2 unknown9/08/2021 Amana petrol Station
40. Amos Kangara11/10/202019yrsPangani
41.Tobias Omondi29/05/202033yrsEastleigh
42.George Odhiambo29/05/2020  
43.Unknown 15/8/2021 Kambi Safi

Art for Social Change Maji ni Haki/Water Campaign

Maji ni Haki!

Where is the water for our people? And what challenges do they face trying to make sure they can get enough for their families everyday?

Our Art for Social Change campaign made a song about water struggles, and it features powerful commentary and activists from across Nairobi.

Big up to the artists and to Hood Creation for the images and sound. We are also grateful to Mary Lawhon and the Examining nature-society relations through urban infrastructure project (project number: P19-0286:1)  for the support!

See the video above!