Meet The Fellow
Meet Ruth Khanalli Ogola from Kenya.
Ruth, who self-identifies as an extrovert, is currently hosted at the Katiba Institute; Kenya’s foremost public interest litigation outfit. At Katiba where she pursues her practicum, Ruth is coming to terms with what perfect delivery and successful public interest litigation looks like. She is inspired by the commitment, hard work, patience and resilience that her hosts and colleagues have demonstrated during her stay. She has learnt vividly that “Where there is a will, there is always a way”.
For her project, the extrovert in Ruth has chosen a woke and timely issue in Kenya given the election season. Working alongside colleagues and the host organization, she has taken issue with the irregular enlisting of Kenyans to political parties by the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties(ORPP), without their knowledge or consent. The case, cited as Ruth Ogola & Others Vs Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, Case No. HCCHRPET/E402/2022 is before the High Court of Kenya. Ruth argues that the actions of the ORPP have affected those who were erroneously registered under parties that they did not support because they were denied an opportunity to vie for and be nominated for positions under parties of their choice in the electioneering process. Herself a victim, Ruth is aggrieved that the erroneous registration was normalized, as the errors are from over a year ago, yet the ORPP did not take any concrete actions to rectify them ahead of the national elections this year. In filing the case, the applicant seeks to have a verification system for political party membership before registration as well as the deregistration of irregularly registered Kenyans so they can fully enjoy their right to freely participate in politics.
Ruth hopes that this case will set precedent for the critical need to uphold constitutional values and promote data protection laws in Kenya. Alongside the court case, Ruth also wants to disrupt the culture of turning a blind eye to human rights violations through community civic education as well as advocacy.
When she is not working, Ruth doesn’t mind being a loner enjoying some downtime in her own company cooking a good meal, listening to her favourite tunes, catching up on shows or reading an enlightening book.
Ruth, the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. Here’s to always being an extraordinary lawyer!