Build This Our Nation Together
December 15, 2022
DIALOGUE REFERENCE GROUP
BUILD THIS OUR NATION TOGETHER:
COMMUNIQUE OF THE THIRD NATIONAL DIALOGUE CONFERENCE
The Third National Dialogue Conference has been held here at Ufungamano House on 14th and 15th December 2022 to assess the state of the nation following the conclusion of the 2022 General Elections and formulate strategies for engagements moving forward. Just over 200 delegates from across the country participated. The 3rd National Dialogue Conference reflected on and was inspired by the words of the National Anthem
Let all with one accord, In common bond united, Build this our nation together
And the glory of Kenya, The fruit of our labour, Fill every heart with thanksgiving
- APPRECIATION FOR ELECTIONS 2022
This National Dialogue Conference deeply thanks all Kenyans for the peaceful conduct each of us exhibited before, during and after the 2022 General Elections. The resilience and determination that enabled us override the corruption, impunity, lawlessness, insults and electoral injustices that prevailed in the early part of the year is commendable. It is our prayer and inspiration that we uphold and nurture this commitment to peace and national cohesion.
We especially thank all religious leaders who were fully committed to deliver peace messages through the pulpit and other platforms. The continuous and focused messaging is what transformed the mindsets of the people, enabling us to have peaceful elections and transition to a new administration. We thank you.
Secondly, we thank all the youth who heard the cry of the nation and desisted from engaging in violence. It is our prayer that the leadership of the nation will respond by addressing the issues that have hindered the achievement of your aspirations in the past.
Thirdly, we thank all political actors who heard the call to engage in issue-based campaigns rather than the usual ethnic rhetoric laced with incitement that we have experienced in the past. It is our prayer and plea that this mindset continues to guide you.
Fourthly, we thank all security agencies and other state institutions for promoting peace and equitable execution of your mandates. It is our prayer that you will continue to safeguard Justice, which is the bedrock of our nationhood.
Fifthly, we thank all political parties and candidates who were aggrieved by the elections results for choosing to seek redress in court rather than provoking conflict and violence in the country. Let us persistently promote recognition of and respect for institutions for stability of our nation Kenya.
2. ENHANCED PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Moving forward, we recognize the centrality of public participation in the governance and welfare of our nation. In all our faiths, we believe that God created all persons equal and therefore each individual has a right to contribute to the matters that affect their lives.
In this regard, we call upon every Kenyan to commit to engage in civic affairs, just as we are called upon in our National Anthem:
Let one and all arise, with hearts both strong and true, Service be our earnest endeavor
And our homeland of Kenya, the heritage of splendour, Firm may we stand to defend
On their part, we call upon the County and National Governments to put in place meaningful public participation structures and processes. This will be achieved when the people are accorded adequate access to information and timelines to make their contributions.
3. FRAMEWORK FOR NATIONAL DIALOGUE
During this Conference, we have assessed the implementation of the Framework for National Dialogue that we launched in 2018. While a lot has been achieved, we have noted areas in which further action is required, and we make the following recommendations:
a) Decisive Action to Deal with Corruption
We are concerned that the country has not exhibited firm commitment to deal with corruption, and are shocked by the manner in which the Director of Public Prosecutions is dropping cases touching on high level crimes. The public confession by the Director that he was influenced by the previous regime to frame people through court cases means the office has lost independence, and can no longer be trusted to not be influenced by the current regime to similarly frame other people. For this reason, we recommend that the Director takes time for introspection and takes decisive action to reassure Kenyans of the independence of this key constitutional organ.
b) Constitutional and Legal Reforms
Learning from the failed process to review the Constitution of Kenya through the Building Bridges Initiative, we recommend that the President constitutes a multi sectoral task force to undertake an objective review of the implementation of the Constitution. This will inform any further recommendations for amendment of the Constitution and legal framework of the nation. The principle of people-driven constitution review process must be maintained at all times.
We have nonetheless taken note of the ongoing debate in the country, and reiterate our position that the country requires dignified opposition as a measure of promoting accountability in governance. We urge the President to facilitate adequate public participation so that all Kenyans agree on how to attain this measure.
4. ISSUES OF NATIONAL CONCERN
This National Dialogue Conference noted and reflected on issues that are of concern to Kenyans, and make the following observations and recommendations:
a) Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
Recognizing the public discourse that has arisen following the resolution by the Cabinet to lift the ban on importation and production of Genetically Modified Organisms, we urge the government to suspend the decision until adequate public participation has been conducted.
b) Climate Change Governance
There is great distress across the country due to food insecurity. Many families continue to sleep hungry. We call upon the government to initiate a multi-sectoral process that includes national and county governments to develop a workable national strategy to address climate change and ensure food security for all.
c) Poverty and Economic Reforms
Poverty is a horror that continues to ravage the citizens of Kenya. We call upon the government to identify and implement measures that will empower Kenyans to absorb the economic shocks and rising cost of living. Of special need is to focus on the youth who have been excluded from national life. We recommend a consultative process to develop an economic recovery strategy.
We conclude by calling upon all Kenyans to treasure and take opportunity to participate in governance and decision-making processes at all levels. In this way, we will actively contribute in achievement of the prayer we make in 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 wish all Kenyans a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
May God bless Kenya now and always.
Signed on this 15th day of December 2022 at Ufungamano House, Nairobi:
Evangelical Alliance of Kenya
Hindu Council of Kenya
Inter Religious Council of Kenya
Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops
National Council of Churches of Kenya
National Muslim Leaders Forum
Organisation of African Instituted Churches
Seventh Day Adventist Church
Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims
Shia Asna Asheri Jamaat