Our Mission

Our Mission

 

To transform lives through ecumenism, capacity building, advocacy and service delivery.

 

Our Vision2

Our Vision

One Church; United in Faith and Mission Witnessing to Jesus Christ and Transforming Lives.

Our Values2

Our Values

In pursuing its Christian calling, the Council shall uphold:

  • Integrity through accountability and transparency;
  • Stewardship through sound resource management;
  • Professionalism through competence and efficiency;
  • Partnership by collaborating with others;
  • Servant-hood through fair and humble service.
Mission & Vision

DRG Press Conf

DIALOGUE REFERENCE GROUP

Reconciling and Restoring Kenya Through Structured Dialogue

 

NATIONAL REFORMS – UPHOLD PEACE AND COHESION

 

PRESS   STATEMENT

 

PREAMBLE

The Dialogue Reference Group (DRG) has met here at Ufungamano House, Nairobi, to reflect on the state of the nation. In our reflections, we took stock of the exhortation of Psalms 34: 14

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it

And also from the Quran Sura 2 Verse 205

Allah abhors any disturbance of peace

It is our hope and prayer that every Kenyan will seek peace so that we hold together as one united nation.

  1. State of the Nation

During the Second National Religious Leaders’ Convocation that we organized in December last year, we welcomed the release of the Report of the Presidential Task Force on Building Bridges to Unity. At the time, we urged Kenyans to keenly read, discuss and debate the report so as to effectively participate in the dialogue on the same. We continue to emphasize that Kenyans must avoid, at all costs, divisive debates on the report to avoid dividing the people.

We have keenly observed the developments in national debate on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), and are deeply concerned that the country has been pushed to a state of heightened political emotions, which in the past have been a precursor of violence and chaos. The seeming determination by political actors to push the country to a divided referendum is completely averse to the letter and spirit of the words of His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and Right Honourable Raila Odinga when they established the Building Bridges Initiative in March 2018.

We wish to remind all Kenyans that the Building Bridges Initiative was established to unite the country following the chaos and violence that emerged from the 2017 General Elections. It is a major concern to Kenyans that the BBI, which was presented as a solution to the political crisis is now tearing the country apart.

DRG GSwithArchbishop

 

  1. Recommendations For the BBI Process

To stop the country from sliding into anarchy, we strongly recommend the following:

One, that His Excellency the President directs that the political rallies on the BBI be stopped henceforth since they are polarising the nation.

Two, that His Excellency the President directs that a comprehensive civic education program on the Report of the Task Force be implemented immediately. We largely attribute the confusion and discord being witnessed in the country to the pervasive ignorance of the majority of Kenyans on the contents and recommendations in the BBI Report.

Three, that the Steering Committee on the Implementation of the Building Bridges to a United Kenya Task Force Report robustly implements its mandate that entails validation of the Taskforce Report and making recommendations for its implementation. The current situation where the formal validation of the Report has been subsumed by the diversionary rallies organized by political actors is contrary to the structured dialogue that the Task Force was meant to shepherd.

Four, that His Excellency the President, in line with the provisions of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act 2011, initiates the process of filling the vacancies in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission with utmost urgency. It will be irresponsible on the part of the political leadership to cause the country to once again go through an acrimonious change of leadership at the IEBC as happened in 2016.  Kenya deserves to have a properly constituted IEBC to undertake the constitutionally mandated review of the boundaries of electoral units, and conduct the referendum if one is called to effect necessary reforms.

Five, that the Judicial Service Commission urgently initiates the process of filling the existing and emerging slots within the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kenya. We are aware that a number of the judges are due for retirement, and it will not be prudent to wait until the incumbents leave before the process of replacement is commenced. Early recruitment will facilitate smooth transition and secure the process from intense political pressure.

Six, that as Kenyans we uphold and espouse the rule of law and respect of institutions. It is very distressing for Kenyans when senior government officials blatantly disregard court orders, ridicule regulatory bodies, manipulate official processes, and suppress public servants who are doing their work. We wish to caution that Kenya will irredeemably collapse if some people continue to behave with impunity as if they are above the law.

Seven, we call upon all political leaders in the country to cease and desist from further public display of a culture of insults and disrespect of one another. This trend is grievously eroding the morals of our children who are growing up believing that insults, mudslinging and violence are pathways to success. Are these the values that we want in this nation? It is not lost on us that politicians misbehave in this manner, and whenever the other Kenyans behave like them, the religious institutions are accused of not inculcating values in the people. We remind the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission that “Ethics” is not just about financial accountability, but the entire spectrum of human behaviour.

Eight, that as a nation we institutionalize a robust reform process that is objective, inclusive, issue based and non-divisive. We all witnessed and lived through the effects of divisive referenda in 2005 and 2010. Reforms are meant to make the lives of Kenyans better, and therefore must not be used as the arena for fighting political, religious and ethnic supremacy battles. Any amendments made to the Constitution of Kenya 2010 must be the culmination of a structured dialogue process that genuinely seeks and receives the views of Kenyans who are well informed through a nationwide civic education process. In this regard, we strongly counsel that should the country hold a referendum, the questions should focus on specific issues and not an omnibus Yes or No vote.

DRG Presentation

  1. Other Issues of National Concern

During our consultations, we reflected on matters that are affecting the lives of Kenyans, especially the ongoing desert locust infestation, the threat of spread of coronavirus in the country, and the horror of extra judicial killings by the police.

We noted with concern that the government, despite timely and adequate warnings by experts, failed to put in place measures to minimize the impact of the locust invasion into the country. The lethargic and seemingly uncoordinated response has resulted in the situation where the locusts are spreading into more counties and laying eggs that will in a short while hatch into even bigger swarms. This must not continue, and we call upon the Ministry of Agriculture to urgently put in place a campaign to educate Kenyans on measures they can adopt to eradicate the locusts.

On their part, we call upon the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus to commence a programme of training Kenyans on prevention and management of coronavirus infections. We recognize the warning given by the Minister for Health that the virus is projected to spread in the country at some point in future, and therefore the prudent thing is to train citizens how to care for themselves. Kenyans are able and willing to take care of themselves, but they require adequate information and skills.

Further, we call upon the Independent Policing Oversight Authority and the Kenya National Commission for Human Rights to speedily investigate the spate of Extra Judicial Killings of the youth by the police that are now spiralling out of control. Extra judicial killings are a blatant disregard of the sanctity of life and an affront to the laws of Kenya which provide for arrest and prosecution of suspects. We in addition call upon the Inspector General of the Police to bring his team under control with utmost urgency.

 

  1. Conclusion

We conclude by commending Kenyans for the continued commitment to peace and good neighbourliness. Let each of us, individually and in our communities, seek peace and national cohesion, always keeping in mind the words 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

May God bless Kenya now and forever more.

Signed on this 5th day of March 2020 at Ufungamano House, Nairobi:

 

Evangelical Alliance of Kenya

Hindu Council of Kenya

Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops

National Council of Churches of Kenya

Organisation of African Instituted Churches

Seventh Day Adventist Church

Shia Asna Ashri Jamaat

Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims

DRG Prayer

 

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