SECURING A DEMOCRATIC AND ACCOUNTABLE NATION.

CITIZEN LED CONSULTATIVE FORUM.

SECURING A DEMOCRATIC AND ACCOUNTABLE NATION.

PRESS STATEMENT

Introduction:

The North Rift Regional Consultative Forum as part of the Religious Leaders of Kenya, has held the Regional Dialogue Conference today Thursday 29th February 2024 at Reformed Church Conference Hall. We reflected on John 2: 1-5 “Follow what Christ Says and do what he asks us to do”

The North Rift Regional County consultative forum brought together delegates from religious groups and representatives of Dialogue Reference Group (KCCB, NCCK, SUPKEM
)Youth, Women, and Mediators to deliberate on pertinent issues affecting us and have come up with resolutions and recommendations endorsed in this Press Statement.

Our Point of Reference:

On insecurity in some parts of the nation- We are apprehensive of the rising insecurity in parts of Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Turkana, Samburu counties, and other parts of the nation. We as religious leaders ask political leaders and other agencies to stop profiling of communities from the affected regions without proof. Criminals remain criminals irrespective of which community they come from and should be treated as such. Let the full force of the law take its course on them.  We as religious leaders from the region recommend the process of disarmament be conducted in a humane way by providing economic opportunities for reformed warriors. Equally, some leaders should avoid politicizing the situation and provide citizen-led and centered solutions to address the menace. Similarly, we call upon the government to come out clearly on the issue of boundaries by indicating the demarcated boundaries to avoid the continuing loss of lives and property.

On cattle rustling and banditry, we as religious leaders have observed that this is now a business venture that involves cartels. We call upon the minister of interior and internal security to move fast and quell the fears of residents in these areas by apprehending the culprits. Lives are being lost every day and yet perpetrators continue operating under impunity. The sanctity of life should be protected at all costs.  We as religious leaders hereby resolve to constitute an ad-hoc peace committee to look into the issue and provide long-lasting solutions to address the insecurity in the region. We are open to partnering and collaborating with the existing structures to combat the insecurity in our region.  Further,  we also recommend that all stakeholders in education sector ensure that children and youths from these regions access education which will go a long way in alleviating the menace.

Our Commitment

Having thoroughly deliberated on the resolutions that were raised during this meeting, we have identified some action points to be taken by the leadership of the religious groups, the community, other multi-sectoral actors, the executive, the judiciary, the legislature, and government security agencies to bring back normalcy in the areas affected by insecurity.

Our Outcomes

The North Rift Regional Dialogue Consultative Forum wishes to respond as follows to the current political situation in our region and nation at large.

On supremacy war between the executive and judiciary, we as religious leaders call upon our President and The Head of the Judiciary to refrain from utterances that will make Kenyans lose confidence either in the Executive or the Judiciary. All arms of the government should work independently as provided for by the Constitution. However, we encourage positive criticisms from either side. The president swore to protect the constitution and therefore should desist from openly saying that he will not obey court orders. Thus we call upon the top leadership to continue emphasizing the need to respect the rule of law.

On Corruption, we, the members of the North Rift Regional Consultative Dialogue Forum are supportive of steps to be taken to root out corruption in Kenya. However this should not be done selectively, especially when judges/magistrates issue a ruling contrary to the wishes of the executive, we don’t expect the executive to fight back in political arenas. The rule of Law must be followed by everyone. We should not have selective fighting against corruption. Corruption is an enemy to the development of Kenya and should be fought from all sectors. Due diligence should take center stage in fighting corruption to avoid the question of labeling the fight as witch-hunting. As Kenyans, we need to protect the independence of the three arms of the government. If not, this will erode the confidence Kenyans have in the independence of the three arms of the government.

On Gender Based Violence (Femicide), as religious leaders, we are concerned with the current wave of femicide in Kenya which is not only alarming but also setting the country to a worrying security crisis if nothing is done urgently. Multiple cases of femicide have been reported in different parts of the country – starting from the murders of female university students on various campuses across the country. We call upon the President and security agencies to ensure that our women are being protected and everyone at large.

On the high cost of living, we call upon our president to step up more efforts to ensure that the cost of living is further brought down in Kenya. This is especially hurting the vulnerable and poor members of our society.

On Unemployment, we call upon the National and County governments to create an environment to create more jobs for the youth, through SMES, JUA Kali sector, public and private sectors. We are concerned that some private sectors are closing shop and moving out of the country citing unfavorable business environment.  Additionally, on appointive positions we call upon concerned agencies to ensure that it’s done fairly and ensure that people are appointed on merit rather than out of bribery and nepotism.

On Taxation-Kenyans feel that they are heavily taxed and yet they are not reaping the fruits of high taxation. We call upon both levels of our governments to ensure prudent use of taxes and minimize fraud.

CONCLUSION:

We hereby bind ourselves to the use of this North Rift Regional Dialogue Consultative Forum with integrity and sound thought for the collective betterment of our well-being as representatives of diverse Communities and interest groups in the Region, and we as the people’s spiritual leaders, commit to remain faithful to our God, who has called us all to be his stewards and overseers over his people.               

Long live our great nation Kenya!

To God be the Glory!

Signed by

Rev. Daniel Barno

Chairperson of North Rift Regional Consultative Forum

April 2024
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