National Council of Churches in Kenya urges deep involvement in implementation of new law

Catholic Information Service for Africa (CISA)

Kenyans are urged to engage in the implementation of the new constitution by the NCCK. They also encourage Christians to stand for office. They hope the new constitution will resolve poverty and other problems faced by the nation.
Kenyans have been urged to intensively engage in the implementation of the new constitution. “All Kenyans, no matter how they voted during the referendum, will live under the new constitution and therefore have a say in how it is implemented,” the National Council of Churches in Ken ya (NCCK) Lower Eastern Region said on September 30 in a statement released during a meeting convened in Machakos Eastern part of the country.

The statement signed by Bishop Timothy Ndambuki Chairman of NCCK Lower Eastern Region said, “Kenya is a new nation defined by the new constitution that was passed through the recent Referendum. Indeed the hopes and wishes of the people are very high that the new constitution heralds a future in which the poverty and problems our nation has gone through will be resolved conclusively.” The church organization said that the greatest responsibility of the current government is to put in place the necessary structures for the implementation of the new constitution and that it is of great importance that all Kenyans are helped to understand the new constitution and also be intensively engaged in its implementation. “We, therefore, urge that the government and other agencies provide financial and material support to civic education i nitiatives aimed at informing Kenyans the full meaning and implications of the new constitution.

The civic education will not be pegged on accepting or rejecting the new constitution, but on conceptualizing the Kenya created by the constitution so that Kenyans can understand how to engage,” the church body said. The NCCK also called for civic education devoid of political rhetoric to be provided to explain to Kenyans how the counties will operate and urged the electorate to elect professional managers, not politicians, as governors who will bring positive change to the lives of the people. The committee recommended that the persons elected to be governors be professionals who have good track records of efficient management of public or private affairs and resources and persons of high integrity and moral values. The committee also called on Christians to engage in civic affairs and to boldly offer themselves for elective and appointive positions when the opportunitie s arise. “Assuming leadership in civic affairs at the local, constituency, county and national levels through which one can bring to bear Christian values and influence is not a contradiction but rather an affirmation of our faith,” they said.

The church was urged to take note of and support Christians who offer themselves for elective and appointive positions without expecting monetary tokens from them adding that it will be a great tragedy if Kenyans choose to elect persons who give them money and ignore candidates who have integrity just because they choose not to bribe voters. The president and the prime minister were also called upon to give leadership to the process of amending the contentious issues as they promised during the referendum campaigns.

The NCCK further expressed concern in regard to the welfare and security of Kenyans and the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and provision of relief food to families affected by drought s aying that the government must address these challenges swiftly. In conclusion, they advised Kenyans not to forget the past from which the nation is moving or risk falling back into the same trends and practices.