Do not kill the messenger!

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The debate about whether religious leaders are justified to rebuke the Executive is misplaced. I believe we should be focusing on the message and not the messenger.

Politicians and their sympathisers have taken the issue out of context. The messenger might have failed in the past – but then my memory reminds me that the National Council of Churches of Kenya has apologised for the general election debacle.

The three arms of government have failed Kenyans and refuse to admit it. Religious leaders and a free media are now the only hope Kenyans have to guard against the excesses of the Executive.

We are now told that Kenyans don’t trust the Judiciary – that’s why they are clamouring for The Hague to try perpetrators of post election violence.

The Executive has missed the plot by refusing to take action against those implicated in corruption, be it political responsibility or court action. Parliament is the latest entrant in the club.

It was therefore a sigh of relief during last week’s National Prayer Day to see the Inter Religious Forum take the role of the ‘people’s watchman’ and tell off the two principals that the bus they are driving is veering off the road.

They sharply criticised the coalition government for failing to tame corruption and to undertake reforms outlined in a power-sharing agreement signed last year, to end months of post-election violence. I believe these were not just their views but concerns from a majority of Kenyans.

The two principals should not be defensive about these issues but focus on measures that would improve the lives of Kenyans. They should make the fight against corruption a personal commitment and champion it with zeal.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga should tame tribalism and ensure crucial reforms are implemented urgently. They should not join the ‘blame game’ nor wait to crucify the messenger.

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