Support Us to Live in Dignity – Press Statement

Support Us to Live in Dignity

Press Statement

Preamble

The NCCK Central Region has held her 14th Regional Conference here at Caritas Development Center, Nyeri, on 23rd and 24th April 2024 under the theme “Dignified Livelihoods, Resilient Communities (Galatians 6: 9)”. The Conference, held once every three years, transacted formal business and also reflected on matters of concern to Embu, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Nyeri, Nyandarua and Laikipia counties. Delegates in the conference were inspired and challenged by the scripture in Hebrews 11: 24 – 25

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.

We challenge our national and county level leaders to embrace an attitude similar to that of Moses, so that they too can have great and lasting impact just like Moses had. We too as church leaders have committed ourselves to the same principle.

1.         Curtail Supply of Illicit Alcohol and Substances

We in this Regional Conference are appalled and heavily disturbed by the casual manner in which the national and county governments are dealing with the devastating disaster of uncontrolled alcohol and drug and substance abuse. It is extremely sad that over the last three decades, the government has allowed the counties in our region and the wider Central Kenya to be flooded with illicit and unhealthy alcoholic drinks, as well as an unending supply of bhang.

The impact of this state of inebriation is evident in the devastated lives of our youth and middle aged men, leading to loss of hope for the future. Productivity has dropped to bare minimum, and families are getting poorer, not richer.

We now demand that the national and county governments stop the supply of illicit alcoholic drinks, drugs and other substances with immediate effect. The Producers, Suppliers and Dealers of these killer products must be punished harshly and speedily. Indeed we challenge the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to charge them with attempted murder. In addition, the Director should fire any prosecutor who causes the cases to be lost due to poor prosecution.

On their part, we call upon the Judiciary to ensure speedy prosecution of the alcohol and drug related cases. Do not agree to unnecessary delays, and take action against any persons who interfere with witnesses.

We remind all that the main strategy in the Bible for ending crime is by punishing all offenders, as we read in Ecclesiastes 8: 11

When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong.

On our part, we remain committed to preaching and counseling our people so as to reduce the demand for abuse of alcohol, drugs and substances.

2.         Transform Agricultural Economy

Recognizably, the main economic engagement in our counties is agriculture. However, we in this Regional Conference note that the County Governments have failed to inspire industrialization and value addition which would move the sector to a higher level. It is therefore unfortunate that the residents of our counties continue to produce the same crops using the same techniques as they did 40 years ago. It is no wonder then that the economic output of our region has been steadily falling.

To remedy this, we urge the governments in our counties to:

One, provide budgets for training of farmers on innovation and value addition so as to improve the incomes and welfare of the farmers and their families

Two, employ and deploy more agronomists and field staff to train and mentor the farmers

Three, develop initiatives aimed at inspiring the youth to embrace agriculture and especially value addition as a dignified livelihood

Four, reduce taxes and levies charged on agricultural inputs and products

On their part, we call upon the national government officials and investigating agencies to stop pontificating and ensure punishment of the producers and distributors of the fake fertilizer in accordance with the law. It is very disgusting to see government officials justifying this crime against humanity yet a whole season has been destroyed. We hold the government responsible for allowing the fake fertilizer to be produced and distributed through government-owned facilities.

3.         Heal the Healthcare in Kenya

We in this Regional Conference are saddened that the government and workers in the medical sector are continuing to subject Kenyans to unnecessary suffering on account of the ongoing strike. We call upon all stakeholders, and especially the county and national governments, to get into meaningful dialogue with the doctors and other health sector workers to end the ongoing strike. As church leaders, we are available to provide mediation as required.

4.         Validate the NADCO Report

In our internal survey, we have recognized that only 19% of our people have read the report that the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) presented to Parliament. Inadvertently, more than 83% of the respondents in our survey indicated that they are not comfortable with the NADCO report being implemented as it is.

In this regard, we call upon the speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate, Honorables Moses Wetangula and Amason Kingi, to have the report published in a manner accessible to all Kenyans. Further, the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee should hold sittings in the counties to receive feedback from the citizens, and then use that feedback to finetune the Parliamentary Bills that were drafted as part of the NADCO Report. Kenyans must be fully involved and supportive of any and all governance and electoral reforms that are discussed by their representatives in Parliament.

On our part as church leaders, we have put in place a process to sensitize the people on the NADCO report as well as the 9 Bills of Parliament for effective public participation.

5.         Reconstitute the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission

We in this Regional Conference are concerned that the government and concerned stakeholders are continuing to expose the country to grave danger by failing to re-constitute the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

We call upon all concerned parties to urgently fast track the recruitment of Commissioners for the IEBC. This will facilitate the extremely delayed by-elections for Barissa and Lagdera constituencies, and Nyamaiya, Kisa East, Lakezone and Chewenai Wards, as well as gazettement of the Deputy Governor for Kisii County.

In addition, we call upon the Attorney General to seek an advisory opinion from the Supreme Court of Kenya on what should be done to deal with the failure to adhere to the constitutional timelines for review of boundaries of electoral units.

6.         Use Electricity Safely

This Regional Conference has noted with concern that the number of electricity-related accidents is rising, with reports that 130 deaths were reported last year while 60 have been killed so far this year.

Considering that the majority of electricity-related accidents result from illegal connections, poor wiring in houses, and operating under power lines, we call upon all the residents of our counties and the entire country to take care of their lives. To progress this understanding, we in the NCCK have partnered with the Kenya Power and Lighting Company to use our platforms to sensitize community members to use electricity safely. We especially recommend the following to the residents in our counties:

One, only engage licensed electricians to do wiring in your houses;

Two, ensure that electricity supply is connected by Kenya Power and Lighting Company itself; and

Three, avoid putting any buildings or businesses underneath powerlines

7.         New Regional Leadership

This Regional Conference wishes to inform all that we have elected a new team of officials who will hold office for the term 2024 – 2027. These are:

Chairperson:                 Rt Rev Dr Timothy Gichere

Vice Chair:                    Rt Rev Stephen Njogu

Hon Treasurer:             Rev  David Njuguna

Women Rep:                 Rev Susan Kamiru

Youth Rep:                    Thomas Waweru

PWD Rep:                     Hon Joseph Kanyi King’ori

Conclusion

We conclude by expressing our condolences to the families of all Kenyans who have died in the ongoing floods. It is regrettable that both the national and county governments failed to put in place measures to ensure effective flow of flood waters despite being warned of heavy rains by the meteorology department. Even as we pray for quick recovery of all those affected, we call for urgent measures to unclog all water ways to safeguard the lives of the people. Further, we will be monitoring those in leadership and who may try to take advantage of this tragedy to steal government funds.

It is our prayer that all of us as Kenyans will be inspired and motivated by the scripture in Philippians 2: 3

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

May God bless the NCCK Central Region and the entire nation.

Bishop Dr Timothy Gichere

Regional Chairman, NCCK Central Region

May 2024
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