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Choose to Love and Serve God

Choose to Love and Serve God

Press Statement

Preamble

The Regional Committee of the NCCK Central Region has met here at ACK Mt. Kenya Guest House, Nyeri today March 9, 2021. The delegates took time to execute statutory business and also reflect on matters that affect the counties in our region, which are Embu, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Nyeri, Nyandarua and Laikipia, guided by the scripture recorded in Joshua 24:14

Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.

As church leaders, we recognize that transformation truly happens when people turn away from the old ways and adopt new ones. As a region and the entire nation, we are called upon to adopt new information and technological advancements that promote godliness and humaneness so as to promote transformation of our society. Recognizing this, we wish to share the following message.

1. Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2020

This Regional Committee has noted that preparations for the Referendum on the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2020 are in high gear, and Parliament has called for public hearings later this week. This process is crucial and all Kenyans should participate, since the amendments will touch the lives of all.

We therefore call upon 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. Do not wait to be informed by politicians who come to you with vested interests, not the interests of the nation. Do not accept to be bribed with financial or material tokens to vote one way or the other. Always remember that you are required to abide by the Constitution, not the euphoria that will be created during the referendum. Make an informed choice.

On our part as the National Council of Churches of Kenya, we have an ongoing Civic Education Programme which is being delivered through our structures and churches and the sessions are routinely streamed live on our Facebook Page. We welcome all Kenyans to join us on these streams whenever possible.

In the meantime, we urge all people to uphold and maintain peace before, during and after the referendum. No Kenyan should suffer or die because of the referendum. Any person who incites violence or ethnic hatred because of the referendum should have action taken against them.

2. Readiness for the 2022 General Elections

This Regional Committee has noted that whereas the nation is psyched up for the anticipated referendum and the 2022 General Elections, adequate attention has not been put on the health and capacity of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). Failure to implement the required electoral reforms and address the leadership crisis at the Commission is setting up the country for chaotic elections and possible rejection of the results of both the referendum and the 2022 elections.

Worse still is the emerging trend where political leaders persistently disparage the IEBC and other elections related institutions. We observed a similar trend in the lead-up to the 2007 elections in which the distrust of institutions led to the post-election violence when people sought other means to address their grievances. We challenge the National Cohesion and Integration Commission to take up the mandate of investigating and prosecuting any person who disparages national institutions since that leads to breakdown of national cohesion.

Further to this, we condemn the emerging trend of use of foul language and toxic politics in the country. Politicians should not train our children that it is okay to insult one another, spew out lies, and malign the characters of others. 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.

3. Address Prevalent Drug Abuse and Trade

This Regional Committee has noted that despite constant requests by religious and community leaders, effective action has not been taken to curtail the trade in and abuse of illicit drugs in our counties, especially bhang. In some areas the trade and abuse of illicit drugs is being done openly.

We call upon the security agencies and government administration to take the necessary action against those who engage in drug trafficking. In addition, we urge the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) to partner with us to intensify sensitization on alcohol and drug abuse in our counties. We are willing to open our structures and forums to NACADA for sensitization on alcohol and drug abuse so as to rescue our people.

4. Provide Security for All

This Regional Committee is deeply concerned that insecurity is rising in our counties, driven by under development that has led to unemployment of many youths who are now idle. We request His Excellency the President to reorganize the security machinery in the region to ensure that any and all individuals who are involved in the criminal activities are brought to book. We also call for reforms in the agricultural sector, especially training of the people on value addition, so as to improve their economic wellbeing and thereby reduce their proclivity to engage in crime.

5. Mental Health

The Regional Committee is deeply concerned about the worsening state of mental health among our people manifested by rising cases of suicide and violence within the family. We urge the Ministries of Health of both national and county governments to organize sustainable trainings to empower the people to withstand the pressures of life. There is also a need to improve accessibility and affordability of mental health care for the general population. On our part, we will use our churches to encourage people to end the stigma on mental health challenges and to seek help whenever one is affected.

We are also concerned about the state of healthcare in our nation especially in light of the rising cases of Covid-19 infections. We call upon the county and national governments to speedily resolve the industrial disputes with health workers and to adequately equip health facilities to ensure care for all people. On their part, we encourage all people to adhere with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health so as to protect themselves and others from being infected by the virus. In addition, we encourage the government to ensure justice and equity is observed in the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine, and to acquire adequate doses for the Kenyans who are routinely exposed due to interaction with multiple individuals.

6. Message to Faith Leaders

As church leaders, we remind ourselves of the duty laid upon us in the Bible as recorded in  Acts 20: 28

Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

We have therefore set ourselves to protect the flock from the recklessness of politicians. We will in this regard resist asking for donations from politicians and aspirants during the referendum period and the upcoming general elections. This is because politicians who make donations in church always ask for opportunities to speak to congregants during the worship services, and as clergy we have no control what they will say at that point. We have in the recent past witnessed instances where the politicians used foul language and even violence while speaking in the churches. We encourage our fellow brothers and sisters who are church leaders to similarly protect the pulpit from politicians and other persons who do not promote spiritual nurture.

Conclusion

We conclude by thanking God for the grace He extends to our nation, even as we encourage all Kenyans to individually commit the nation to God as we approach the 2022 General Elections and the Referendum, even as we are inspired by Philippians 4:6 – 7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Signed on this 9th day of March 2021 at ACK Mt. Kenya Guest House, Nyeri

Rt Rev Julius Karanu

Regional Chairman, NCCK Central Region

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