Press Statement by NCCK Central Regional Conference
May 11, 2018
NCCK Central Region leadership led by Chairman Rt. Rev. Julius Karanu addressing the media after a two-day regional conference during which new officials were elected.
Embrace Value-Based Leadership
The Regional Conference of the NCCK Central Region has met here at Kagumo Teachers Training College from 28th – 29th April 2015 under the theme Shinning the Light of Christ (Matthew 5: 14 – 16). The Regional Conference is the supreme governance organ in the region and meets once every three years. One hundred and twenty delegates from the Member Churches of the NCCK participated in this Conference.
We considered matters of concern to the counties under our region, which are Embu, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Nyeri, Nyandarua and Laikipia, and took time to reflect on the matter of leadership, and drew lessons from the scripture recorded in Acts 20: 33 – 35
“I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.”
We appreciated that the greatest challenge faced by our nation today is having greedy and self-centered leaders who seem to be interested only in satisfying hedonistic cravings and incessant amassment of wealth. With this in mind, we wish to share the following message with the residents of Central Region and the entire nation:
1. Reverse the Grabbing of Church Schools by the Government
This Regional Conference is greatly shocked at the blatant grabbing of church schools by the government through the Basic Education Act 2013. We remind the government that the National Council of Churches of Kenya and the entire church leadership strongly protested when the Act was passed, but our sentiments were ignored by Parliament and the President who went on to assent to it. It is therefore very worrying that the government has embarked on a process of declaring church sponsored schools as public institutions and issuing Title Deeds to the education boards. This is blatant robbery since it is the churches that established and run the schools.
We call upon the national government to reverse this process and facilitate a review of the Basic Education Act so as to restore the schools to the rightful owners.
It is in this same note that we challenge the recent calls for scraping of religious education from the school curriculum. We are convinced that the religious education should actually be expanded so as to inculcate values in the learners as a remedy to the social problems we are currently experiencing.
2. Protect Marriage and Family Life
This Regional Conference supports and has prayed for success of the efforts by the Kenya Christians Professionals Forum to appeal the ruling made by the High Court early this week that allowed the registration of a Non Governmental Organisation for Gays and Lesbians. The ruling was in bad taste and we are convinced is merely the next step in the journey of legalizing gay and lesbian marriages in this country, which will itself contravene Article 45 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 which recognizes marriage as being the union of two people of the opposite gender.
We are further concerned about the regulations set by the Attorney General whose net effect is to make weddings a very expensive engagement. Ministers and couples wishing to wed are going through a lot of suffering as they are required to travel to the Attorney General’s Office for licenses. We urge that the issuance of wedding licenses as well as submission of the marriage certificate returns be devolved to the County level. Such devolution will facilitate greater compliance in addition to reducing the current congestion being experienced at the Attorney General’s Chambers in Nairobi. We must make weddings in Kenya as simple and affordable as possible.
3. Put Efforts to Bolster Devolution
This Regional Conference commends the efforts that have been put by different institutions and individuals over the last two years to entrench devolution. The teething problems that are being witnessed in some counties not withstanding, devolution is a great boon for this nation.
We therefore call upon the leadership in Embu County to work quickly to resolve the differences they have been having. The incessant incitement of the community by some leaders against the others are grossly unbecoming. We recommend that if the leaders are unable to agree on how to serve the people, then they should resign and allow the people to elect others.
Further to this, we call upon the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to move fast and resolve the simmering county boundaries rows. It is notable that development and provision of services to the people is being hindered in places where there are disputes on where the borders lie.
On their part, we call upon church leaders in all counties to endeavor to actively engage in the governance and decision making processes in their localities. In this way, the church will be in a position to effectively contribute to value-based leadership in our communities.
4. Resolve Security Challenges
For decades now, residents in our region have lived under a cloud of insecurity and fear. We therefore urge the national and county governments to come up with well crafted measures to deal with crime and especially the provision of economic empowerment strategies for the youth.
On the issue of terrorism, we are concerned that these attacks have specifically been aimed at killing Christians and Christian ministers while other Kenyans are merely collateral damage. In this regard, we note that the attack on Garissa University early this month revealed the reality that Kenyans are living under. This is the reality that there are community, political and religious leaders in this country who not only support but also finance terrorism. We urge His Excellency the President to take courageous and radical measures against these leaders and in this way secure our nation.
We conclude by thanking God for the favour He continues to bestow on Kenya despite the challenges we face. We are confident that with selfless and integrity based leadership, our nation will continue to prosper. May God bless our nation now and forever more.
Signed on this 29th day of April 2015 at Kagumo Teachers’ Training College.
Rt Rev Julius Karanu
Regional Chairman, NCCK Central Region