With Love Let us Dignify Lives of All – North Rift

With Love Let us Dignify Lives of All

Press Statement

Preamble

The 14th Regional Conference of the NCCK North Rift Region here at RCEA Conference and Training Center, Eldoret, on 18th and 19th April, 2024, under the theme “Dignified Livelihoods; Resilient Communities” based on Galatians 6: 9. The NCCK North Rift Region encompasses Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot and Turkana Counties.

During this Regional Conference, the delegates were inspired by the scripture recorded in 1 Corinthians 13: 13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

We did note that everything we can do is nothing if it is not founded on love.

1.         Mourning The Passing on of CDF Francis Ogolla

It was with shock and disbelief that we received information that senior military personnel led by the Chief of Defense Forces, General Francis Ogolla passed on yesterday. We join the rest of Kenyans in mourning this great champion as well as those who died with him, these being Brigadier Swale Saidi, Colonel Duncan Keittany, Lieutenant Colonel David Sawe, Major George Benson Magondu, Captain Sora Mohamed, Captain Hillary Litali, Senior Sergeant John Kinyua Mureithi, Sergeant Cliphonce Omondi, and Sergeant Rose Nyawira.

We have taken time to pray for their families and the entire nation during this time of mourning. May God grant all of us consolation and peace, knowing that the passing on of a leader of this stature brings anxiety and speculations.

2.         End the Menace of Insecurity

This Regional Conference takes note that the General Ogolla and the 9 other military personnel are the latest high profile victims of the incessant and seemingly uncontrollable banditry-driven insecurity that plagues the North Rift region. For how long will the lives of Kenyans be destabilized and destroyed by banditry? For how long will the residents of the Northern counties of Kenya be deprived the enjoyment of the rights guaranteed in Article 29 of the Constitution of Kenya?

We call upon the national and county governments, alongside all Members of Parliament and County Assemblies, to engage all stakeholders in intra and inter ethnic dialogue to find a lasting solution to this menace. Let us make love for all Kenyans  the motivation for resolving the insecurity so that every person has a chance to live a full and productive life. The cry of our hearts is that of every resident of West Pokot, Turkana, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo and Samburu counties, as is found in Psalm 146: 1 – 2

Rescue me, O Lord, from evil men; protect me from men of violence, who devise evil plans in their hearts and stir up war every day.

3.         Invest in Infrastructural Development

In our deliberations during this Regional Conference, we have once again mapped the direct relationship between low infrastructural development, high poverty levels and a culture of violence. Research has shown that educational and multi-cultural exposure improves self confidence, plants a vision of a better life for all, inspires a national identity, and motivates all individuals to push themselves to their greatest potential.

We therefore call upon all the six County governments in our region to put all possible effort on rapidly expanding the transport and communication infrastructure in our localities. There is also a great need to build schools and health facilities to enhance the wellbeing and lives of the people. Coupled with this, we call for concerted efforts to ensure 100 per cent of the children and youth in our counties go through basic, secondary and tertiary education. Insecurity must not be allowed to keep children out of school any more. We urge all to set aside corruption and selfish ambitions, being inspired by the word of God in Philippians 2: 3

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

4.         Deal Decisively With Corruption

This Regional Conference recognizes that insecurity and under-development are driven by corruption and weak enforcement of the rule of law.

We reiterate that corruption is never dealt with through speeches and threats, but rather through decisive and painful punishment of those who engage in the vice. Corruption in Kenya has grown to be a monster due to the culture of not punishing the offenders. God foresaw this, and warned us clearly 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.

We challenge the state agencies involved in investigations and prosecution to speedily process cases so that the punishment of the guilty acts as a deterrent of others with similar ideas.

In the same breath, starting point for us is the prosecution and punishment of all who are involved in the fake fertilizer scandal. We call for speedy investigation and prosecution of the officials in charge of the Kenya Bureau of Standards who allowed Kenyans to be duped, as well as the officials of the National Cereals and Produce Board who allowed the reputation of the institution to be used to sanitize the fake fertilizers. Kenyans trusted that they would only get genuine and quality products from such a state agency, and it is an abdication of duty on the part of the officials.

5.         End the Health Sector Industrial Action

Across the country, Kenyans are suffering irredeemably as a result of the withdrawal of services by doctors and other medical staff. Are the government officials pontificating about this strike expressing love for Kenyans?

We challenge the county governments to get into meaningful dialogue with the doctors and other health professionals, towards which we state the willingness and availability of religious leaders to provide mediation as required. We further demand that the national government facilitates the devolution of health by releasing adequate funds to cater for human resource and other health sector expenditure.

6.         Validate the NADCO Report

Through an internal survey, we have established that less than 27% of Kenyans have read or are familiar with the contents of the report that the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) presented to Parliament. Further we are concerned that less than 15% of respondents made presentations to the NADCO during their sittings. Despite this low level of participation by the citizens, Parliament adopted the report and are progressing with measures to implement it.

We strongly recommend that the speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate, Honorables Moses Wetangula and Amason Kingi, take steps to have the report published in a manner accessible to all Kenyans. On its part, 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.

6.         Urgently Constitute the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is the only body constitutionally mandated to manage elections in Kenya. It is therefore a great risk and injustice for the country to not have a functional IEBC in place.

Already, there are two constituencies, Barissa and Lagdera, and four Wards, Nyamaiya, Kisa East, Lakezone and Chewenai, that are without elected representatives, which is breaching their constitutional rights. Further, Kisii County has been denied the right to have a Deputy Governor.

To end these breaches of the Constitution, we call upon President William Ruto and all other stakeholders to speed up the recruitment of the IEBC Commissioners. On his part, we implore Hon Justin Muturi, 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 constitutional timelines for review of boundaries of electoral units.

7.         Use Electricity Responsibly

It is a huge concern to this Regional Conference that Kenyan families continue to lose their loved ones to electricity-related accidents. Statistics show that last year, 130 deaths were reported, while 60 have been reported this year. If this trend continues, we could lose more than 200 people to electricity related accidents.

Quite notable is that the majority of electricity-related accidents result from illegal connections, poor wiring in houses, and operating under power lines. To safeguard lives, we in the NCCK have partnered with the Kenya Power and Lighting Company to use our platforms to sensitize community members to use electricity responsibly. We therefore appeal to all Kenyans to:

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

8.         New Regional Leadership

In line with the NCCK Constitution, we are pleased to inform you that this Regional Conference has elected a new team of officials who will hold office 2024 – 2027. These are:

Chairperson:               Bishop Dr Emmanuel Chemengich

Vice Chair:                   Moderator Samson Akoru

Hon Treasurer:           Elder Samuel Sawe

Women Rep:               Pst Everlyne Marindich

Youth Rep:                  Rev Silas Ruto

PWD Rep:                   Daniel Kogo

Conclusion

In conclusion, we recall that God has commanded us to love one another, and do good to all. Our Lord Jesus Christ said this clearly in John 13: 34

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Let us love one another and do all we can to help and build each other.

May God bless this North Rift Region and the entire Kenya now and always.

Bishop Dr Emmanuel Chemengich

Regional Chairman, NCCK North Rift Region

June 2024
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