NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES OF KENYA(NCCK) ON ISSUES AFFECTING THE COUNTRY

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This Executive Committee has over  time  noted  with concern that the country is always caught  unprepared   when   environmental  emergencies    occur.   Of  note   has  been  the prevailing  cyclical  alternation’s   between  floods  and  droughts,   a situation   that  has  been worsened   by Climate   Change.  We  plead  with  all  Kenyans,    and  especially    the  national   and county governments,    to make  adequate   preparations   before  the emergencies    happen  so• that   lives    are    not   lost    and  . livelihoods   are   protected.   Current   reports   from   the Meteorological   Department  indicate that  heavy rains are expected  in the medium term period,  and therefore  this is the time to clean  up drainages, repair roads,  and check flood• prone  areas   to  ensure   the  extra   rain  does   not  lead  to  floods.   We  further   urge  the government  to  mitigate  the  impact  of the flooding  of lakes  in the  Rift  Valley  that  has displaced  many  people.  Let us all fix the roof when the sun is shining.

  This  Executive  Committee  has noted that the Constitution  of Kenya Amendment   Bill popularly known as the  BBi  Bill,   is currently  being  considered  by County Assemblies.  This is  a crucial   process   in  which  all  Kenyans   should   participate.    The  amendments    to  the constitution   will touch  the  lives  of all  Kenyans.  Of importance  is that we must  all maintain peace before,  during   and  after  the  referendum.  No Kenyan  should suffer or die because of the referendum.  We therefore  urge all  Kenyans to attend civic education  events,  and to read and understand   the  Bill  so as to make  an informed  decision   during  the  anticipated referendum.

We also call for Members of County Assemblies  and   the general  public  to vote  on-e way  or the  other  during  the  referendum.   This offends the principle of free choice as a tenet of democracy.  We all must end this culture of handouts to influence decisions.

On  our  part  Gs  the National  Council   of Churches   of Kenya,  we have  developed   a Civic

Education   Handbook   to  help  Kenyans  understand  the implications of each  of the amendments  proposed  in  the  Constitution  of Kenya Amendment  Bill 2020.  We will  use the Handbook  during  our nationwide   civic engagements   that we have scheduled   between  now and the referendum.  We will also be recruiting   electoral and peace  monitors  to gather data for early warning  and early action  and advocacy.

This  Executive  Committee   remains   concerned   that  the  constitutionally    scheduled   2022

General  Election  is not getting  adequate  attention.   We reiterate that the challenges that affected the 2017 general  election,  and by extension  the elections  before that,  still remain unresolved.   Instead of these  challenges  being  addressed,   Kenyans    are  witnessing    a radical   increase   in toxic  politics.   The  use  of foul  language   is  widespread    and  must  be1i1 stopped.  Politicians  should  not train our children that it is okay to insult one another, spew· out  lies,  and malign the characters of others. This trend· is contradictory to the provisions on national values  contained in the Constitution.   We speak out on behalf of Kenyans  who have expressed  serious concerns  that politicians  are  leading  the people towards the dark path of hatred, conflict  and violence. We call upon all actors to rise up and stop the country from  sliding  into  anarchy.   Further  to  this,  we  are concerned  that  political  actors  are increasingly  establishing   and supporting gangs that engage in  criminal activities  against other Kenyans.

We strongly recommend to all  Kenyans to reject any political  actor who engages in foul language or violence.  As citizens,  we can teach  our leaders  to have  decorum  by denying any who are not tolerant leadership  positions.

Administratively, we urge the government to undertake the necessary measures to ensure that we are ready for the referendum and the 2022 General Elections. These measures include:

a)  Replacement  of the Commissioners   of the Independent  Electoral and  Boundaries

Commission who resigned to resolve the festering leadership  crisis  at the institution b)   Audit of the electoral process to identify and resolve the gaps that led to .concerns

and disputes during the past elections

c)   Review  and  updating   of the  Voters’ Register

d)   Passing  and implementation   of electoral related  laws

This Executive  Committee takes  to mind,  and wishes  to remind  our  brothers   and  sisters who a.re leaders  in  religious  institutions,   the advice given in  1   Peter  5: 2 – 4

Be shepherds of Gods flock that is under your care, watching over them – not because you must, but because you are willing, aGod wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being example to the flock.

We plead with you to deeply rove God and focus  on shepherding   His people, including   the political  leaders.  Let us remember  that people come to the church  and other places of worship  to seek  God.  Our  mandate    is to feed  them  spiritually,   and  to achieve   this we have  a responsibility   to maintain the sanctity of our sanctuaries.  We therefore  should not allow any persons to engage  in foul language  and politicking  in places of worship.

Of note,  we urge  all  religious  leaders to resist the temptation to ask for donations  from politicians  and  aspirants   in  exchange  for· allowing the sanctuaries  to be platforms  for political vitriol  and  campaigns

We conclude by wishing  all  Kenyans a blessed Lent and a moment of sober reflection  on our  lives  as we look forward to the remembrance of the sacrifice,  death and resurrection of Jesus that brings us salvation during  Easter.

May God bless  Kenya now and always.