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Natujenge Taifa Letu – Pastoral Letter (Nairobi Region Press Conference)

Natujenge Taifa Letu – Pastoral Letter

Press Statement

Preamble

We the delegates of the Regional Conference of the NCCK Nairobi Region have met here at Jumuia Conference and Country Home, Limuru, for our triennial meeting on 4th to 6th July 2021 in full observance of the Covid-19 control protocols. The Regional Conference is the highest decision making organ in the region, and brings delegates from the NCCK member churches and organisations in Nairobi and Kiambu counties.

During the Regional Conference, we deliberated on the guiding theme which is “Wholesome Youth for a Wholesome Society”, based on the scripture recorded in 1 Timothy 4: 12

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

Recognizing that God created a wholesome creation, we share the following message so that each of us can play a role in ensuring that Kenya, and our communities, are wholesome.

1.         End Punitive Taxation

This Regional Conference calls for an immediate reversal of the emerging trend of punitive taxation of Kenyans. We are very disappointed by our Members of Parliament who passed the Finance Bill 2021, which has radically increased the prices of basic consumer products. Without an accompanying growth of the economy and family incomes, the rise in taxation is in essence a deliberate impoverishment of Kenyans.

We call upon the national and county governments to instead focus on building a production and value addition oriented economy that is premised on reduction of government expenditure.

In addition, we advice Kenyans to watch keenly and purpose to only elect persons who have clear and practical strategies to fight corruption. We must always remember that any person who acts corruptly before elections will intensify their corrupt practices after the elections.

2.         Vet Leadership Aspirants

We in this Regional Conference recall that any person or company seeking an employee prepares a Job Description then interviews applicants to find the one best fitted for the position. We have committed to, and now advice all Kenyans, to join us in setting the performance standards for all elective political positions. We must end the culture of waiting for politicians coming to make promises of what they will do when elected, and instead change the campaign forums to be times when community members present memorandums to aspirants and only elect those who have clear strategies to implement them. Let us all make it clear that the citizens are the employers of political leaders, not the other way round.

Building on the qualifications for political leadership that God set in Deuteronomy 17: 14 – 20, we especially recommend to Kenyans the following key elements for vetting aspirants:

  • One who is committed to improving the lives of all Kenyans, not just the clan or tribe or religion or economic class or geographic location they belong to. Anyone who tells you to hate another community does not deserve your vote.
  • One who does not promote a dependency syndrome by giving you small tokens rather than creating an environment where you can build your own prosperity in peace and security
  • One who is committed to the rule of law and adheres to the Constitution, for it is the law that molds us into a nation. If an aspirant breaks the law now, they will break the law in future to oppress you.
  • One who is not greedy for money and wealth, for such a person will not value the people and will easily betray the oaths they take to get one more coin. Do we Kenyans really want leaders who sell us out for a few coins?
  • One who respects faith leaders and is committed to godliness

Let us as Kenyans decide to make the 2022 General Elections the turning point in setting a higher quality of political leadership in this nation.

3.         Prepare Adequately for the 2022 General Elections

We in this Regional Conference have noted with trepidation the sentiments of political actors who are calling for a postponement of the 2022 General Elections. We state here that the General Elections must be held on the 9th day of August 2022 as has been set by the Constitution of Kenya. No reason exists why that date should be changed.

On the stead, we call upon all elections related institutions to make adequate preparations to ensure that the General Elections will be credible, peaceful, free, fair and efficiently managed.

Towards this, we call upon the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to present to Kenyans the findings and recommendations of the Post-Election Evaluation (PEE) conducted after the 2017 General Elections. Kenyans must be assured that the shortcomings that affected the 2017 General Elections will not feature in future elections. We hold that if any election is nullified on account of mis-action by an electoral official, that official should be held personally responsible.

On their part, we call upon the Members of Parliament to speedily process and enact the elections-related laws that include:

  • Political Party Primaries Bill
  • Referendum Bill
  • Campaign Finance (Amendment) Bill
  • Representation of Special Interest Groups Bill
  • Gender Parity Bill

We have in the meantime noted the sentiments by the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government assuring the nation of security during the elections. We urge the Peace Committees at county, constituency, ward and village levels to integrate leaders of churches and other faith entities so as to genuinely address the issues of the youth.

We further call upon the National Cohesion and Integration Commission and other regulatory bodies to strictly enforce the law and ensure timely punishment of any persons who incite violence, engage in hate speech, or hire gangs to cause violence.

4.         The Building Bridges Initiative Process

We in this Regional Conference have followed the developments touching on the propose amendment of the Constitution arising from the Building Bridges Initiative. We appreciate that the Constitution touches and controls the lives of all Kenyans, and so the process of amending it should be inclusive, consultative and consensus based. To ensure adequate time for such a process, we call upon the promoters of the Building Bridges Initiative to postpone the process until after the 2022 General Elections, regardless of the outcome of the ongoing judicial process. We should not deliberately put Kenyans through a devastating referendum process and a General Election within the same year.

5.         Message to the Youth

We in this Regional Conference have noted with regret that the youth, despite being more than 70 per cent of our population, have largely been left out of leadership in church and the nation. We have committed ourselves to remedy this situation by integrating youth in our internal structures, and supporting those who seek political and social leadership.

We also take this time to advice our youth to strongly resist those who hire them to engage in violence before, during and after the elections. Remember that in the past, those who gave you some few coins are enjoying power and wealth, while you remain in the same state. We encourage you to use your numbers to demand for and take up decision making positions in the political parties you support. In addition, push to have youthful candidates nominated to contest in areas where your parties are strong. Do not sit back asking for leadership, step out and take it.

Conclusion

We conclude our message by recalling the words of our National Anthem:

Natujenge taifa letu, Ee ndio wajibu wetu, Kenya istahili heshima; Tuungane mikono, Pamoja kazini, Kila siku tuwe na shukrani.

Every Kenyan has a responsibility to contribute to the building of our nation. We can have a wholesome society when each sector of the community, especially the youth, have adequate opportunities for participation.

We pray that God will bless the Nairobi Region and the entire Kenya now and always.

Signed on this 6th day of July 2021 at Jumuia Conference and Country Home, Limuru.

Rev Dr Alphonse Kanga

Regional Chairman, NCCK Nairobi Region

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