NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 27 – President Mwai Kibaki has assured religious organisations that his Government welcomes constructive criticism as well as proposals on alternative policies.,
President Kibaki said on Friday that the organisations act as the custodians of moral and social values in the society.
“Religious organisations and other members of civil society play a crucial role in promoting good governance in public affairs. They provide a feedback on how the public feel and react to the behaviour and decisions of various branches of Government,” he said.
His comments came barely two weeks after the Interreligious Forum rebuked the top leadership for “remaining insensitive and unresponsive” to the needs of Kenyans. However several ministers dismissed the censure and discredited the group.
But as the President gave the assurance, in a separate press conference the Secretary General of the National Council of Churches of Kenya Peter Karanja maintained that despite the resistance from the political class the church would continue to raise issues.
“The time for chest thumping and back passing is over. They are to hear the message and address the issues raised,” he said.
The Head of State however said: “Religious groups also have a responsibility to mobilize citizens towards the rightful behaviour that is consistent with family virtues, and the need to make use of available resources to provide the basic human needs.
Speaking when he presided over the official opening of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya’s Luther Plaza in Nairobi, President Kibaki said the Government had in the last six years given Kenyans the widest latitude in form unprecedented freedom of expression in the country’s history.
“In virtually all societies, liberty is exercised within the platform of national dialogue that seeks to make a nation a stronger and better home for all,” President Kibaki said.
The President said it was imperative that the Government and Faith-Based Organisations lead the way and unite the people. Speaking at the same function, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka faulted the recent opinion polls that claimed that the Grand Coalition Government had achieved nothing in the first year in Office.
Mr Musyoka noted that the peace brought about by the signing of the peace accord by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga accorded Kenyans an opportunity to participate in developmental activities without fear.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya through its Head, Archbishop Dr Walter Obare boosted the Sachangwan/Nakumatt fire disaster fund with a donation of Sh300,000 presented to President Kibaki.
Bishop Orare called for a review of the objectives of the proposed tribunal to try post-election suspects saying Kenyans should embrace peace and reconciliation.