Executive Committee Press Statement
February 18, 2021
The Executive Committee of the National Council of Churches of Kenya has held an extra ordinary meeting on a blended format today February 18, 2021 with the officials physically present at Jumuia Place while other delegates joined on Zoom. During this meeting, the Executive Committee reflected on the state of the nation and was inspired by the scripture recorded in Deuteronomy 6: 4 – 5
Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
We recognize that this is the core foundation for a successful and secure life for every nation and individual. In this regard, we now share the following message:
2. Prayer to Overcome Covid-19
We in the NCCK continue to pray for victory over the Covid-19 pandemic, not only for our nation but also for the entire humanity. We are praying that all those who are infected by the virus will have quick and complete recovery, and for all who are bereaved for consolation and peace. We are especially praying for our brothers and sisters who provide medical services that they will be protected as they serve, and that their plea for better working conditions and remuneration will be attended to speedily. In the meantime, we urge all of us to be fully committed to adhering to the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health. Be your brother’s keeper. Protect them and yourself from contracting or transmitting the virus. We especially call for an immediate stoppage of political rallies and other public events where citizens are exposed to the virus.
3. Climate Change and Disaster Preparedness
This Executive Committee has over time noted with concern that the country is always caught unprepared when environmental emergencies occur. Of note has been the prevailing cyclical alternations between floods and droughts, a situation that has been worsened by Climate Change. We plead with all Kenyans, and especially the national and county governments, to make adequate preparations before the emergencies happen so that lives are not lost and livelihoods are protected. Current reports from the Meteorological Department indicate that heavy rains are expected in the medium term period, and therefore this is the time to clean up drainages, repair roads, and check flood-prone areas to ensure the extra rain does not lead to floods. We further urge the government to mitigate the impact of the flooding of lakes in the Rift Valley that has displaced many people. Let us all fix the roof when the sun is shining.
4. Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2020
This Executive Committee has noted that the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2020, popularly known as the BBI Bill, is currently being considered by County Assemblies. This is a crucial process in which all Kenyans should participate. The amendments to the constitution will touch the lives of all Kenyans. Of importance is that we must all maintain peace before, during and after the referendum. No Kenyan should suffer or die because of the referendum. We therefore urge 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.
We also call for a stoppage of the trend of bribery of Members of County Assemblies and the general public to vote one way or the other during the referendum. This offends the principle of free choice as a tenet of democracy. We all must end this culture of handouts to influence decisions.
On our part as the National Council of Churches of Kenya, we have developed a Civic Education Handbook to help Kenyans understand the implications of each of the amendments proposed in the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2020. We will use the Handbook during our nationwide civic engagements that we have scheduled between now and the referendum. We will also be recruiting electoral and peace monitors to gather data for early warning and early action and advocacy.
5. Journey to the 2022 General Elections
This Executive Committee remains concerned that the constitutionally scheduled 2022 General Election is not getting adequate attention. We reiterate that the challenges that affected the 2017 general election, and by extension the elections before that, still remain unresolved. Instead of these challenges being addressed, Kenyans are witnessing a radical increase in toxic politics. The use of foul language is widespread and must be stopped. Politicians should not train our children that it is okay to insult one another, spew out lies, and malign the characters of others. This trend is contradictory to the provisions on national values contained in the Constitution. We speak out on behalf of Kenyans who have expressed serious concerns that politicians are leading the people towards the dark path of hatred, conflict and violence. We call upon all actors to rise up and stop the country from sliding into anarchy. Further to this, we are concerned that political actors are increasingly establishing and supporting gangs that engage in criminal activities against other Kenyans.
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.
Administratively, we urge the government to undertake the necessary measures to ensure that we are ready for the referendum and the 2022 General Elections. These measures include:
- Replacement of the Commissioners of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission who resigned to resolve the festering leadership crisis at the institution
- Audit of the electoral process to identify and resolve the gaps that led to concerns and disputes during the past elections
- Review and updating of the Voters’ Register
- Passing and implementation of electoral related laws
6. Message to Faith Leaders
This Executive Committee takes to mind, and wishes to remind our brothers and sisters who are leaders in religious institutions, the advice given in 1 Peter 5: 2 – 4
Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being example to the flock.
We plead with you to deeply love God and focus on shepherding His people, including the political leaders. Let us remember that people come to the church and other places of worship to seek God. Our mandate is to feed them spiritually, and to achieve this we have a responsibility to maintain the sanctity of our sanctuaries. We therefore should not allow any persons to engage in foul language and politicking in places of worship.
Of note, we urge all religious leaders to resist the temptation to ask for donations from politicians and aspirants in exchange for allowing the sanctuaries to be platforms for political vitriol and campaigns.
We conclude by wishing all Kenyans a blessed Lent and a moment of sober reflection on our lives as we look forward to the remembrance of the sacrifice, death and resurrection of Jesus that brings us salvation during Easter.
May God bless Kenya now and always.
Signed on this 18th day of February 2021 at Jumuia Place, Nairobi.
Archbishop Timothy Ndambuki
Rev Canon Chris Kinyanjui