Section 11 of the Societies Act in Kenya establishes the grounds on which the Registrar may refuse to register a society.
This section is crucial in maintaining the integrity of registered societies, ensuring that they align with lawful objectives and do not pose a threat to peace, welfare, or good order in Kenya.
Let’s explore the various grounds outlined in Section 11 for the refusal of registration.
Grounds for Refusal:
Political Affiliation (Subsection 1a):
The Registrar may refuse to register a society if he is satisfied that the society is a branch of, or is affiliated to or connected with, any organization or association of a political nature established outside Kenya.
Previous Registration Issues (Subsection 1b):
Registration may be refused if any of the proposed officers has been an officer of a society that has been refused registration or has had its registration canceled under Section 12 of the Societies Act.
Unlawful Purpose or Prejudicial Activity (Subsection 2a):
The Registrar is mandated to refuse registration if there is reasonable cause to believe that the society has among its objects, or is likely to pursue or be used for, any unlawful purpose or any purpose prejudicial to or incompatible with peace, welfare, or good order in Kenya.
Dangerous to Good Government (Subsection 2b):
Registration must be refused if the Cabinet Secretary has declared the society, under paragraph (ii) of the proviso to Section 4(1) of the Act, to be a society dangerous to the good government of the Republic.
Repugnant or Inconsistent with Law (Subsection 2c):
Registration may be refused if the terms of the constitution or the rules of the society are in any respect repugnant to or inconsistent with any law.
Non-Compliance with Act or Rules (Subsection 2d):
The Registrar may refuse registration if he is satisfied that the application does not comply with the Societies Act or any rules made under the Act.
Non-Existence (Subsection 2e):
Registration must be refused if the Registrar is satisfied that the society does not exist.
Name-related Issues (Subsection 2f):
Refusal of registration may occur if the proposed name of the society:
Is identical to that of any other existing or previously existing society, or any society whose application for registration has been refused.
So nearly resembles the name of any other society as to be likely to deceive the public or the members of either society.
Is repugnant to or inconsistent with any law or is otherwise undesirable.
Significance of Section 11:
Section 11 plays a critical role in safeguarding the registration process for societies in Kenya. By providing clear grounds for refusal, the Societies Act ensures that registered societies align with lawful objectives and do not pose risks to public order or governance.
This section contributes to the overall transparency, accountability, and integrity of registered societies in Kenya.