Kenya campaigns must continue, NGOs say

June 16, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 16 – Civil society organisations rooting for the passage of a new Constitution have rejected proposals to suspend on-going campaigns following Sunday’s multiple blasts at a ‘No’ rally in Uhuru Park.

The activists, who have vowed to advance their campaigns, are instead asking Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere and Attorney General Amos Wako to ensure that those responsible for the explosions are apprehended and prosecuted.

The chairman of the Center for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) Larry Gumbe said Kenyans should not be cowed by fear and intimidation in the quest for a new Constitution. He accused those calling for the suspension of the campaigns of being anti-reformists.

“We cannot stop buying property because there are thieves. It is up to the police to look for and arrest the thieves so that we can continue buying property. (Similarly) we cannot stop the peaceful campaigns for the Constitution because of incidences by those who want to derail us,” he said.

The CMD Chairman also commended the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) for taking action against individuals who had allegedly made inciting remarks.

He spoke out against the bullying of Kenyans through economic, spiritual, and political blackmail by personalities in their constitution campaigns saying they were a threat to national prosperity.

“Even the highly renowned campaign of propaganda by Hitler (Adolf) in Germany and George W. Bush in recent years finally led to the crumbling of the economies and national fabrics of those nations. Strong democracies are built on truth, civic education and strong competent institutions,” he said.

Prof Gumbe also criticised those who were questioning the integrity of the NCIC only because it had found them culpable of making socially divisive remarks.

“Those that the commission has questioned over allegations of hate speech and were found accountable should not start pointing an accusing finger. They are people who are guilty of inciting communities against each other,” he said.

The civil society groups include the Socio-Economic Rights Foundation, Haki Focus, National Convention Executive Council, and New Ford Kenya.


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