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MAY WE DWELL IN UNITY, PEACE AND LIBERTY

MAY WE DWELL IN UNITY, PEACE AND LIBERTY

PRESS STATEMENT

PREAMBLE

Religious leaders from the National Council of Churches of Kenya, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, together with our partners Independent Medico-Legal Unit, the Elections Observation Group, and the Kenya National Commission for Human Rights have met today here at Ufungamano House to review the state of the nation.

We reflected on the prayer we continually make through our National Anthem:

O God of all creation, bless this our land and nation, justice be our shield and defender

May we dwell in unity, peace and liberty, plenty be found within our borders

We now share the following message with the nation.

1.         UNITY, PEACE AND LIBERTY

A key preambular statement in the Constitution of Kenya 2010 is that we are “Proud of our ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, and determined to live in peace and unity as one indivisible sovereign nation”. We all therefore have a mandate to safeguard the peace and unity of our country.

We in this regard commend His Excellency the President, Dr William Ruto, and the leader of Azimio la Umoja Coalition, Rt Hon Raila Odinga, for hearing the plea of Kenyans and sit and engage in consultations to resolve their political differences. It is unfortunate that so much blood of Kenyans had to be shed and so many properties destroyed before the voice of reason prevailed.

We pray and long for leaders of our nation who will be continually focussed on the welfare of the people of Kenya, not just their vested interests.

2.         ISSUES FOR NATIONAL CONSULTATIONS

To move the nation forward, we now urge the leadership of all political parties in Parliament to fast track the formation of the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee to carry out the necessary consultations to set the framework to address the issues of concern.

We believe that the agenda for the national consultations shall be premised on the longstanding issues affecting Kenyans, which include:

a) Tackling poverty and inequality as well as lowering the cost of living

b) Tackling unemployment and ensuring dignified livelihoods for the youth

c) Consolidating national cohesion and unity and combating insecurity

d) Addressing transparency, accountability and impunity

On their part, we call on all who are involved in the consultative process to heed the warning of God in Proverbs 12: 22

The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy

And in the Quran Surah 103: 2 – 3

Indeed, mankind is in loss, except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.

Let all consultations be open and in good faith and truth. Kenya deserves truth in all processes as citizens listen to each other.

3.         CONSOLATION TO ALL THOSE AFFECTED

While we welcome the gesture of peace by our leaders, we share our deep condolences with all families that were bereaved by the deaths that occurred during the days of mass action. We pray that God will grant you consolation and peace. We are also praying for speedy healing and recovery for all those who were injured, who were robbed, and all those who lost their possessions and businesses.

Our greater prayer for you is that justice will prevail, just as we proclaim in the National Anthem: Justice be our Shield and Defender.

We call upon the security agencies and specialized state agencies to undertake speedy investigations on all acts of crime to ensure that the perpetrators face the consequences of their actions. As a nation let us always remember the warning God gave in Ecclesiastes 8: 11

When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong.

4.         HARRASSMENT OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS

We are deeply concerned that this morning some police officers invaded the home of Bishop Prof David Kodia, the Chairman of NCCK in Nyanza Region, without a search or arrest warrant. We believe that the police were seeking to arrest him because of his vocal statements on matters of social justice. We call on the President to assure Kenyans of the protection and freedom of all people, including religious leaders who speak out for the people.

5.         MESSAGE TO KENYANS

Dear Brothers and Sisters, we know that we are all affected by the rising cost of living and the economic state of the nation. However, we must be hopeful, and work hard to adapt to the changing social-economic and climatic conditions. We must also continually demand that our leaders, both in government and in the opposition, listen to us so that we together seek and implement viable solutions to our problems. In this way, we will treasure and safeguard our peace and democracy, and protect our lives and those of our future generations.

CONCLUSION

We conclude by calling upon all Kenyans to treasure and protect our national unity, peace and liberty, always pursuing justice for every person. Let us firmly resist political and social leaders who drive divisions and violence, and instead demand for peace and betterment of society. We have too many problems to spend our time addressing squabbles between politicians.

May God bless Kenya now and always.

Signed on this 4th day of April 2023 at Ufungamano House, Nairobi:

National Council of Churches of Kenya
Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops
Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims
Independent Medico-Legal Unit
Elections Observation Group
Kenya National Commission for Human Rights

July 2024
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