New Year’s Message from the HiiL Innovation Hub Head – East Africa

New Year's Message from the HiiL Innovation Hub Head - East Africa

Dear friend,

It is with immense pleasure that I welcome you to a new year. I hope as we embark on this new journey together we may encounter new challenges, new opportunities, and the constant joy of making a difference in the lives of millions of people who are still unable to access justice. This year, it is my hope and desire that we can finally make justice systems work for ordinary people everywhere. That we center them, fight for them, invite them to the conversation and cede space for them to realize their intended outcomes.

Hence, as we tackle the herculean juggernauts of an evolving pandemic, expanding climate crises, and the perennial inequities prevalent in our communities, we must remember that justice – real and impactful justice – remains at the forefront of our efforts. We can only tackle these global challenges by expanding and enriching the justice systems to become more people-centered and user-friendly. Furthermore, we must continue to be steadfast in our commitment to supporting more young people, women, people living with disability, and other minorities. 

As the East African Innovation Hub, this year we have ambitious plans to support more justice innovators across East Africa through our ideation, incubation, and acceleration programmes. These programmes enable us to provide the needed technical and financial support to these emerging justice changemakers. We aim to inspire 75 change-makers and set them on a path of justice innovation; incubate 23 innovators to enable them to test and iterate their solutions with real customers and users, and to accelerate 8 social enterprises to achieve product-market fit as they become sustainable and deliver more impact. At the heart of our work is our mission to empower 50 million people in the region to prevent and resolve their most pressing justice needs.

So walk with us, partner with us, join our community events and if you are an entrepreneur or a justice enthusiast apply to any of our programmes and become the next justler.

Eric Mwangi Kariuki
HiiL Innovation Hub Head – East Africa


It is unfortunate that years down the line and with vast development on both policies and laws around sexual gender-based violence, it’s an act that is still justified. Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration or acts carried out against a person without that person’s consent. It is not uncommon that the survivor’s experience is minimized to what they were wearing during the incident or loopholes are pointed out all in an attempt to invalidate this horrific act. This shifts the responsibility to the victim/survivor of the abuse instead of holding the perpetrator accountable. Acknowledging rape in society is a heavy subject that is dealt with, with a lot of stigmas. It is easier to justify it than to tackle the main issue behind it; abusers and perpetrators exist among us, they are our loved ones, our neighbors, our family, and friends. It is a bitter pill to swallow.

Elsie Akoth, an International Relations and Psychologist student and human rights activist has been vocal about surviving her sexual assaults on social media, doing interviews about it, and organizing peaceful marches that advocate for justice for survivors. In her case, authorities and organizations that deal with such cases were involved and helpful, however, this is usually not the case in many instances. The majority of the survivors do not have access to these facilities as most systems are not reliable. Elsie’s voice on social media created a ripple effect for other survivors to speak up about their own struggles and experiences under the hands of perpetrators. While social media activism works and applies pressure on the system, it often comes with a lot of backlash for the survivors. Most people are branded as attention seekers when speaking out about the injustices they go through. It is even worse for the male survivors who are not able to speak up because of societal expectations on what it means to be a ‘strong man. Invalidating the fact that boys and men can be survivors of sexual assault too.

Rape survivors deal with many challenges as they try to put pieces of their lives back together, with new bold scars. It affects different aspects of their lives, especially socially and romantically. Most survivors develop anxiety, trust issues, and general PTSD (Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder) from the incident. The stigma around rape amplifies these challenges. The majority of the cases involve the perpetrator being a closely related person to the survivor, and healing becomes a challenge. Getting justice they deserve is a major struggle, as only 37% of rape cases are prosecuted and only 18% are convicted. (07_Rape_Prosecution.pdf, n.d.)

There are ways to cope with sexual assault and rape specifically, and although it may take a while to heal, it eases the burden on the survivor. Going for therapy and having a good support system around helps a great deal. “Acceptance is the beginning of healing; it does not necessarily mean forgiving the perpetrator,” Elsie explains. Monitoring the survivors’ environment is also crucial in order not to be subjected to triggers that would delay or destabilize their healing journey.

Survivors are encouraged to reach out to organizations that fight for human rights and to get professional help. Examples of these organizations are Wangu Kanja Foundation which helps survivors seeking justice and Hisia Psychologist for their mental wellbeing. It is important for the survivors to know they are not alone, and that there is hope in overcoming the situation no matter how hard it may seem at the time.

Nothing justifies rape and other sexual assaults. No matter what the circumstances around it are, it is wrong and never the survivor’s fault. Consent and sex education are an integral part of ensuring sexual assault cases reduce, in ongoing romantic relationships as well. While there are indeed cases of false and malicious accusations, the majority of the accused are often guilty. Believing a survivor’s story may save countless other people from being sexually assaulted especially by the same perpetrator. A dress, alcohol, a date, or even a relationship is not consent. Consent may also be withdrawn during the act. All these do not justify rape. A maybe is not an invite just as a short dress isn’t.

Article by Annabelle Wafula

Unmasking the ‘deadbeat’ parent: Why do parents abandon or neglect their responsibilities to their children?

A snapshot of the torn family fabric and the thin thread holding it together

Children are often described as bundles of joy, sources of blessings, and even symbols of wealth more so in the African community. As salient features of the basic unit of society, children are considered the prize of families as they complete the unit and provide hope for a legacy to the parents. One may wonder why these bundles of joy end up being neglected and abandoned by the same parents, in spite of their valued presence in society as blessings. Our society has even labeled such parents ‘deadbeat’ parents for their lack of care and provision to their children. Evidently, children have been at the center of family disputes in our community and bearing the brunt of disputing parents. 10% of Kenyans reported difficulties obtaining child support from a former partner as their most serious family legal problem in 2017 according to the Justice Needs and Satisfaction Survey conducted in Kenya. The survey depicts an unfortunate truth that is rarely revealed in our families where one parent shoulders the responsibility of taking care of children both emotionally and financially while the other parent goes about their life unperturbed.

While the right to equal parental care, provision and protection is enshrined in both the Kenyan and Tanzanian Children’s Acts, several children are not enjoying this right and many parents have neglected the legal responsibility bestowed on them to care and provide for their children. For instance, custody and maintenance of children cases were by far and large the highest number of cases at FIDA Kenya with a total of 13,011 cases in 2018 and 2019 according to the 2019 FIDA Kenya Annual Report. This report further revealed that women and children have suffered most as a result of these cases and some of the causes are: increasing economic hardships families have been facing leading to an upsurge in the number of those unable to meet their parental responsibilities; alcohol and substance abuse which has over time eradicated the sense of duty and responsibility of some parents.

Similarly, Tanzania has been afflicted by the family injustice of parents neglecting their parental responsibilities and ultimately abandoning their children. The Tanzanian Women Lawyers Association recorded 1511 cases of child custody and maintenance in its 2019 annual report making it the third most prevalent family legal issue adversely affecting women in Tanzania. Additionally, the Women Legal Aid Centre in Tanzania indicated surging cases of child maintenance and custody in its 2012 report as it recorded 169 cases. These cases depict a regional society that is ailing from a torn family fabric which negatively impacts the growth and development of children as they lack equal love, care, and protection from their parents as well as affects the over-burdened parent financially and emotionally.

Admittedly, the contribution of fathers and mothers to child care has not reached an equilibrium globally according to the 2019 State of World’s Fathers Report by MenCare. In the report, the International Labour Organization (ILO) recognizes that over a 15-year time span, across 23 middle- and upper-income countries with comparable data, the unpaid care gap between men and women has decreased by only seven minutes per day. The report further asserts that no country in the world has achieved equality between men and women in unpaid care, and no country in the world has a national goal of men doing 50 percent of the care work. Apparently, this paints a very bleak picture of society’s commitment to ensure children enjoy the right to equal parental care and protection despite having it engraved in our laws. Is it all dull and gloom, or there is room for innovative solutions to resolve the issue of child neglect by parents?

A live tv interview on JKLIVE show talking about absent fathers in Kenya broadcasted by citizen tv

Therapy as an anchor to reel in parents to their parental responsibilities

When relationships in the nuclear family are strained or threatened in our society, more so between couples, mediation or counseling are often recommended as peaceful ways to reconcile the conflicting parties. While mediation is generally more accepted in the african society; whether facilitated by a religious leader or family member or a chief, counseling tends to receive some reluctance due to the stigma that it is associated with either mentally disturbed or emotionally weak individuals. Does therapy then have a place in resolving issues of neglected parental responsibility and child maintenance?

Margaret Njihia, a clinical psychologist and child therapist at the Family Wellness Centre at Sterling Performance Africa, shared amazing insights on the causes, effects and role of counseling in child care and maintenance during the Unmasking the ‘deadbeat’ parent webinar. She highlighted the causes of parental neglect of children to include childhood trauma experienced by the parents when growing up which handicaps them in intimate relationships, unresolved relationship issues between the parents, unplanned childbirths, target children who remind parents of unpleasant experiences, extended family interference, and lack of finances to provide for the children. These are some of the major reasons that lead to parents absconding their parental responsibility and have a dire impact on the children. Part of the negative impact of parental neglect on children includes child trauma which largely affects the child’s mental health and leads to decline in performance in school, high-risk behavior that may lead to crime and inability to form healthy relationships with others.

Therapy, however, plays a major role in resolving parental neglect of children and proves to be effective in quelling the negative effects of childhood trauma resulting from neglect. Margaret shares numerous successes achieved through counseling as she encounters clients referred by Kenyan courts where the Family Wellness Centre at SPA has managed to get parents to agree on the sharing of parental responsibility. She further asserts that some of her organization’s success stories have led to increased parental involvement and provision to their children as well as reconciliations between disputing parents.

Innovation as a legal vehicle to resolving child maintenance and custody issues

As a parent, when you face difficulty in getting your partner to contribute to your child’s care or to share custody of your child, where do you begin? How do you get the other parent to the negotiation table to discuss their contribution to your child when they have chosen to neglect their parental responsibilities and leave you to carry the burden alone? There are legal offices established to assist with child maintenance and custody cases as well as procedures that guide the justice system in each country but the information is not readily available for every person to access or understand and the cost may be too heavy a lift for most claimants. What then is the alternative in seeking justice for parental neglect of children?

Sheria Kinganjani, which is Swahili for law on your palm, is an innovative online legal digital platform in Tanzania that enables an individual, a student, a lawyer, or a group of people to access legal information as well as materials despite their location. An end-user can access various legal articles, materials, news, reported cases, Acts, legal documents and information on their website or Sheria Kiganjani android application. One can also call or send in an inquiry seeking information about their legal problem through Sheria Kiganjani’s website or app and their team of lawyers is able to respond with the appropriate legal information as well as link you with the relevant legal institutions to resolve your problem until your justice journey is complete. This innovation, therefore, provides an avenue for any parent encountering a legal problem in child maintenance and custody to seek information and get connected to the relevant government body that will resolve their problem.

Neema Magimba, a Co-founder of Sheria Kiganjani, shared the model her innovation uses in resolving child maintenance and custody cases during the Unmasking the ‘deadbeat’ parent webinar organized by HiiL East Africa. The model used by Sheria Kiganjani involves a 4 stage process as follows:

  1. A legal inquiry from a user is received through a call or text message by the in-house legal officer at Sheria Kiganjani who then classifies and understands the legal issue by asking follow- up questions to the user.
  2. The legal officer advises the user on the available legal options they can explore to resolve their legal problem.
  3. The user then decides on their best legal option and gets referred to either the nearest social welfare officer to resolve their issue or a lawyer for those seeking to resolve their issue in court.
  4. Sheria Kiganjani then opens a case file for the user and tracks the progress of the case by following up with both the user and the social welfare officer or lawyer handling the case until its completion.

This model has seen Sheria Kiganjani achieve major successes in resolving child maintenance and custody cases as it assisted in resolving 20 cases through the social welfare office and 3 cases were resolved in court out of the 23 cases received in 2020. This model should be replicated across the East African region to enhance access to justice and impact in resolving family legal problems.

In conclusion, parental neglect of their responsibilities that leads to child maintenance and custody cases is a reality in our community that we need to address. The consequences of this legal problem are dire to children and parents who shoulder the parental responsibilities alone thus threatening the family fabric. Therapy and legal innovation have proved to be efficient solutions in resolving the child maintenance and custody problem with tremendous successes illustrated by Family Wellness Centre at Sterling Performance Africa in Kenya and Sheria Kiganjani in Tanzania. What other innovations and solutions could we adopt for child maintenance and custody legal problems?

Homemade solutions to homemade violence.

The Covid_19 pandemic came with a lot of lifestyle and business positives and some negatives. Many people were stuck at home, forced to face their demons (thoughts) while others were stuck with their abusers, exacerbating an already growing epidemic of gender-based violence. Violent spouses and partners found the nearest release through human punching bags.

Domestic violence is the violent or aggressive act within the home, involving the violent abuse of a partner or a spouse and may extend to the children or inhabitants of that household. Gender-based violence is often a lonely fight, fought in silence and shame. Kibwezi, Makueni County in Kenya, is one of the areas where the number of domestic violence cases increased. The government of Kenya has since changed the laws, ruling that any form of abuse; physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse, is considered a crime.

However, survivors of this gruesome act often do not get the justice they deserve, as perpetrators are set free or given a slight slap on the wrist. While some cases have been brought to light, there are still more silent screams in homes all over the world. show that 1 in 3 women have experienced abuse. It is important to note that, the perpetrators are not only limited to men, women too have been reported to be abusive, and gender-based violence occurs in same-sex relationships as well.

Elsie Mwangi Mutisya, a counseling psychologist who deals with mental health, grief, loss, marriage, and family therapy explained that dealing with a case of gender-based violence, focuses on empowering the survivor to know they are not alone and that they are more than the situation. Treatment sometimes includes dealing with the physical pain and trauma before it gets to the mental state, psychological first aid, and then structured solutions.

A major challenge comes in trying to convince the survivor to leave the situation, especially if they are financially dependent on the abuser. The survivors are encouraged to deconstruct domestic violence and understand that they are not alone, it was not their fault, and can overcome the trauma. It takes a lot of self-understanding on the survivor’s part to leave the situation and to acknowledge that, they may have subconsciously been in that predicament as a part of them needs working on too. To avoid a case of relapse the survivor is encouraged to understand what informs their need to choose to stay in a painful environment or going back to the perpetrator after being rescued. They need to be individually empowered to understand that they are capable of surviving with or without a partner.

Some coping mechanisms that are encouraged after going through gender-based violence mostly focus on the acceptance of the situation, good decision making, and guidance, self-monitoring, accepting the emotions that come with leaving the situation, and the need by the survivor to rebuild themselves.

There are different organizations and instruments used to mitigate gender-based violence in Kenya, regionally, and in the world. Wawera Nyaga, a lawyer, is the National Coordinator of the East Africa Civil Society Organization Forum (EACSOF) Chapter in Kenya, and a major part of it is the Collaborative Center for Gender Development, which deals with advocating, implementing, and reviewing policies and laws around gender equality. This includes the promotion of human rights in different countries in the region; Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan, where the membership is growing. They have various thematic areas around this including peace and security. “The pandemic brought a sharp increase in the number of gender-based violence cases within the first week, depending on the area where data was collected and where cases were reported, there was a 30% or 45% increase, hence the need for organizations to harmonize the data,” Wawera admits concerning the accurate data behind the relation between gender based violence and Covid 19.

Gender-responsive solutions largely depend on working with donors and partners to mitigate gender-based violence. Mastercard Foundation and Open Society Foundation, among others, offer support to empower young girls, provide basic needs for them to discourage dependence on perpetrators. EACSOF also supports the national gender-based violence hotline, 1195, where free counseling sessions are offered to survivors, rapid response is ensured when cases are reported and rescue, psychological, and justice services are offered. They have shelters in counties where gender-based violence cases are prone and are in partnerships with shelters in areas where they have little or no reach.

While many people and organizations are fighting gender-based violence, there are still many people suffering in silence, and people who need to be educated about it, its consequences, and even legal actions that may be taken against perpetrators. Most importantly, it is our duty to remind survivors that they are not alone and can slowly overcome the trauma, one brave step after another.

What is People-Centered Justice?

The other day one of my exciting entrepreneurs reached out to ask me what I meant by people-centered justice. I was surprised by the question since I had always held his work as deeply people-centered. Of course on reflection later on I realized that the work I do and that of many change-makers, social entrepreneurs, and do-gooders is often coded in high terms. Which for the most part we hope would resonate with a larger audience or become a rallying call for change as we build a better world. However, our well-meaning positioning can often get lost in translation, obfuscation and become misunderstood.

So today I wanted to have a conversation on what people-centered justice is?

For many centuries since the first codification of law through the Code of Hammurabi, the legal framework has evolved into a set of rules of what was permissible and what was not, always centered on who had the dominant jurisdiction on culture, authority, standards of morality and ultimately power. Even the word enforce means to ‘impose by force’ and is a key component of the government’s role.

In essence, the law became interpreted by those in power as a battering ram to compel than to mediate or facilitate human relations. This afterglow has always represented an ongoing tug of war in post-independence Africa where the majority of statutes were formulated and passed during the colonial period. These laws were steeply antiblack, pro-imperialist, and in texture, white supremacist. Often bent on subjugation and keeping the natives in line.

Unfortunately, the post-independent elite maintained the status quo. Substituting the colonial master with the black neophyte memorized by Franz Fanon in “Black Skins White Master’s’’ book. They continued the colonial project unabated in policy, law, and institution.

So why is this brief history lesson important?

It is essential that we understand the genesis of our laws and how they intersect with our everyday lives. How the formulation of these laws is often punitive than positive. And most importantly how the voice of ordinary people is lost, banished, and dehumanized in the justice system. Our justice system needs radical transformation. Our constitution has provided a useful tool by centering the Kenyan people and reclaiming their sovereign power back from the political class.

Systems of oppression take time to dismantle. They are so pervasive and endemic that it is often difficult to disentangle them from the institutions and processes we build. However, when we begin the conversation with the person, ask about her needs, his justice journey, how accessible or affordable justice is to them then we invariably begin to transform the system.

In conclusion, people-centered justice simply means putting people at the center of everything we do, by trying to better understand them and by making connections between those who can bring relief to their unmet justice needs.


Article by Eric K. Mwangi


The phrase “be your sister’s and brothers’ keeper” as often taught from a young age, is now an everyday reminder for the communities here in East Africa, as they implement innovations meant to keep each other safe. Community-driven security initiatives are now common across the region, with some countries implementing them more than others. These are systems and measures put in place and led by the community to ensure the general safety of the people. During a webinar held on 25th February, Mr. David Gitonga from the Regional Commissioners office in Kenya explained that the Nyumba Kumi Initiative (meaning ten houses) is one of the systems put in place. It is a term coined from the number of houses that were initially supposed to be part of the initiative in the community but ended up being adapted to more than just ten houses. It is very successful in Tanzania and has been received greatly by communities aiming at improving security in their regions in Kenya as well.

The Nyumba Kumi initiative sole’s strategy is to make sure its members from the community, are aware of their neighbors and in the long run take charge of their own security in fighting crime around them. It addresses issues such as terrorism, inter-clan clashes, and housebreakings. The initiative consists of clusters of people with a common interest, in this case, security, and it ensures that the community participates in promoting a safe environment for themselves. This is important because according to Mr. Gitonga, the ratio between security agencies and civilians is 1:450 in Kenya, meaning a police officer is in charge of 450 people, which becomes a challenge in effectively maintaining peace.

Community driven security initiatives, encourage the locals through public awareness, to be involved in monitoring and relaying threats to the relevant government agencies. In the long run, this promotes cooperation, trust, and confidence between the local people and the institutions responsible for security, by creating openness and accountability between the two. It also reduces the need for private investments in security systems and the authorities can tap into the community knowledge on affairs on the ground therefore, easily mobilizing the locals in case of an emergency.

Innovation has played a big part in some of these initiatives taking off. For example, in Uganda, Anatoli Kirigwajjo, the CEO and The founder of Yunga Technologies, and his team, have invented a security system that alerts the whole neighborhood and police in case of a threat or a crime. “Reporting and following up of crime would take a while, and to curb this, we invented a system that when activated, sends an alert to other neighbors and the police in the event of a disturbance, hence catching the crime in action.” Mr. Kirigwajjo explained. As a way to support this great innovation Yunga Technologies received 10,000 Euros from The Hague Institute of Law and Innovation to facilitate smooth running in their operations. Their motivation; the three founders had each experienced housebreakings and robberies hence decided to curb the problem at the root, finding a solution for them and others, as the liable authorities were known not to follow up on such cases, meaning no compensation or justice was ever achieved.

Some of the challenges Yunga Technologies has faced include high taxation experienced during shipping the spare parts into the country and local investors not trusting the innovation enough to fund it. However, they have achieved a lot from when they started and have won various awards for connecting 300 households, preventing 40 crimes from occurring, and forming a union in the community. This has been made possible through their collaboration with the local police and HiiL Justice Accelerator. Although sustainability may have been a challenge they managed to get revenue from it. There is a high demand for the product but they do not let this come in the way of quality. Their mission is to connect 30,000 houses in the next 24 months and to do this they need 100,000 US dollars. Their long term mission is to connect 5 million houses in the entire East Africa region and beyond in the next 10 years. As their main challenge is financing the project, they hope that they will have more strategic partners moving forward.

To further encourage the collaboration between the authorities and the community, police officers participate in day-to-day activities in the community like offering security during church services and organizing tournaments between the locals and the authorities. Counties have implemented action plans and forums on WhatsApp where the locals can directly interact with their leaders, and are encouraged to use the Mulika Application, which is an anonymous messaging platform that facilitates citizens’ participation in National Security, to report crime as it occurs to the senior officers.

Members of the community are encouraged not to shy away from coming up with inventions that will promote security and safety in their communities. Some tips on ensuring that their inventions and initiatives work; is to interact with people who’ve already started such initiatives in order to avoid making similar mistakes and to make their process seamless, to research with the community on the gaps in the systems and what their needs are, and most importantly to invest highly in the teams’ values and overall agenda. Finally, for any community-driven initiative to work, the community needs to know its members and to remember that the police are not the enemy. #innovativejustice #communitydrivensecurity

Article written by Annebelle Wafula

Poetic Justice: Can art and entrepreneurship be used to solve crime?

A check-in with our community’s criminal minds

As a Kenyan citizen or a tourist visiting the Silicon Savannah, you have probably lost a valuable item to a syndicate of criminals or you know someone who has been a victim of theft. Crime is an emotive issue in Kenya and the East African region but remains an all too familiar justice problem that has almost been accepted as part of our daily routine. So prevalent is the crime problem that in 2017, 13% of all adult Kenyans reported encountering crime in their daily life during the past four years according to the Justice Needs and Satisfaction Survey conducted by HiiL. Thefts, burglaries, and robberies topped the charts as the most prevalent in the list of serious legal problems encountered by Kenyans based on the survey.

Similarly, Uganda is plagued by crime as a pervasive justice issue based on the HiiL Justice Needs and Satisfaction Survey done in the country in 2016. The survey revealed that the problem most often experienced in Uganda is theft including burglary and robbery, which had been experienced by 11% of the Ugandan people in the past four years as of 2016.

Undoubtedly, crime reporting is almost taboo in Kenya with a clear mistrust of the criminal justice system as only one in four people who report a crime in Kenya is able to solve the problem completely based on the HiiL Survey.

Additionally, a great majority of the Kenyans who experience crime are less likely to take any action according to the justice needs survey done in Kenya in 2017 by HiiL. While Kenyans are reluctant to report crime due to the high probability of incomplete resolution, it is a crucial step in attempting to resolve the justice problem thus presents a ripe area for innovation. Only 88,268 crime cases were reported to the police in 2018 according to the 2018 National Police Service Annual Crime Report.

In a bid to resolve the menacing justice problem of crime, the time is right to consider innovative ways to report crime, preserve evidence and even raise awareness about crime in our community. What can you do, you wonder?

Anthem Republiq, a Kenyan Spoken Word artist, captured on All Lives Matter performance on YouTube

Poetry as a cure to police-related crime

When you picture art what is the first thing that runs through your mind? Perhaps it is a colorful portrait that takes you on a trip to a serene place which envisages peace and tranquility or maybe it is a poem or musical performance by your talented and admired artist telling a love story? Imagine the art was a heart-wrenching spoken word performance that put you on the edge of your seat, telling the story of extrajudicial killings and police brutality prevalent in your neighborhood. It would be something of a horror movie, wouldn’t it?

Anthem Republiq is one such artist…né artivist in Kenya who bravely and passionately uses spoken word poetry to raise awareness of the grave crime of police-related killings and enforced disappearances in his community in Mathare. Through a moving performance of spoken word during the Poetic Justice webinar, he gripped the audience’s attention with a heart-rending story of extrajudicial killings in his neighborhood. The 3-minute performance left appalled faces among the audience in disbelief of the emotive police-related crime.

In spite of little being said and done to address the police brutality, Anthem Republiq has taken up arms unleashing the firepower of his spoken word talent to stop the extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in his community. According to the Missing Voices Kenya data, 778 people have been killed by the police or reported missing since 2007 with Nairobi County accounting for the most deaths by police and enforced disappearances at 348.

Pawa254, an art and cultural hub in Kenya, is contributing immensely to the pool of solutions to resolve police-related crimes by supporting artists in using their talent for social justice such as Anthem Republiq. Indeed, this goes a long way in curing the ailing justice health in our community. You can check out Anthem’s spoken word performance on YouTube.

Mulika Platform, a Crime Reporting Tech Innovation in Kenya

Catching the thief with a text

Let’s change our lens for a minute. What trigger do you get when you encounter an entrepreneur? Do you get wowed by the ingenuity of the idea they conceived that solves an everyday problem and presents a much easier way of going about life? Or do you admire the flashy lifestyle and wealth exuded by successful entrepreneurs after flipping their enterprise for a ton of money? While the glitter of gold is very appealing, some entrepreneurs have chosen to find gold by solving justice problems such as crime in our society.

Mulika Platform is one such enterprise run by a tenacious entrepreneur, Grace Wanjohi, who is solving the issue of crime by providing an easy and accessible mobile SMS and application service for reporting crime in Kenya. Mulika is Swahili for illuminate or light up hence suiting the crime reporting platform. Grace has successfully disrupted crime reporting in Kenya from the taxing physical reporting at police stations to a fast and efficient virtual police station.

Through the SMS CODE 988, or the MULIKA APP, you can send in your information either as a victim or a witness to a crime. The text will be forwarded immediately to 5 security chiefs in your county namely; The County Commissioner, The County Police Commander, The County Coordinating/County Administration Police Commander, The County Criminal Investigation Officer, and National Intelligence Service.

Admittedly, Grace Wanjohi has set the pace in crime reporting innovation in Kenya with her Mulika Platform having partnered with the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government to boost security in the country. You can explore Mulika’s reporting innovation by reporting a crime using the SMS Code 988 or downloading the Mulika App on Google Play Store as illustrated on this video.

In short, arts and entrepreneurship are playing key roles in resolving crime as exhibited by Anthem Republiq’s spoken word poetry and Grace Wanjohi’s Mulika Platform. What other arts and innovations can we use as tools for social justice?

By Morgan Gikonyo