, NAKURU, Kenya, Feb 27 – President Mwai Kibaki has assured Kenyans and religious organisations in the country that the new Constitution shall not contain sections that contradict biblical teachings and long-held social values.
President Kibaki made the assurance on Saturday at the Nakuru Showground during the installation and ordination of Father Maurice Muhatia Makumba as the new Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru.
He expressed confidence that the country was about to attain a new constitutional dispensation which would lay a firm foundation for a prosperous, stable and democratic country while also assuring of his personal commitment towards the passage and enactment of a new constitution.
The President declared that he had faith in the current Parliament to protect important values that hold the Kenyan society glued together and in tandem with God’s teachings during the enactment of the new constitution.
Earlier while enthroning the new Bishop, the Archbishop of Nairobi John Cardinal Njue stated categorically that the envisaged Constitution must not contradict the laws of God and must uphold the sanctity of life.
Noting that he supported the stand espoused by the Cardinal and the church in general President Kibaki noted that the country must seize the existing opportunity to enact a new constitution after many elusive years.
He further asked Christians to pray for the country and its leadership to enable them steer the nation to high heights of development and desist from pursuing negative and divisive agendas.
During the occasion, President Kibaki assured that the government appreciates the role of religious organizations in promoting national development and social harmony.
He reaffirmed that the role played by the Church as the custodian of moral integrity complements Government’s efforts to eradicate social vices.
The President noted that the war against vices such as crime and corruption could not be won by the Government alone adding that other stakeholders such as the church, civil society and the media must play their distinctive roles in building a virtuous society founded on truthful religious values and the rule of law.
The Head of State reaffirmed that the Government values the views of religious leaders and at all times remained committed to holding frank consultations aimed at serving Kenyan citizens better.
He commended the church for its unwavering commitment to the promotion of moral values and urged other institutions to emulate the example set by religious bodies, of encouraging ethical behaviour among the youth.
With regard to national unity the President urged the church to promote social harmony through preaching the Christian doctrine of reconciliation and forgiveness.
President Kibaki congratulated the installed Bishop and prayed for God’s blessings and mercies upon his life as he embarked on the selfless task of serving both God and mankind.
Leading the ceremony attended by Catholic Bishops and worshippers from all parts of the country, John Cardinal Njue termed Bishop Muhatia an envoy of God who must at all times be ready to fulfill the will of God by going wherever and doing whatever he is ordered to.
Cardinal Njue urged the new Bishop to embrace reconciliation as the message of evangelisation in the region that acted as an epi-centre of the post election conflict and strive to break all barriers of peaceful co-existence among local communities.
The Cardinal urged all Christians in the country to pray without ceasing for national unity and the laying of a firm foundation for current and future generations.
He further asked the new Bishop to be a good shepherd of God’s flock and at all times strive to love and protect the weakest in the society without fear, because the favour of God is upon him.
The Cardinal also urged the Nakuru Catholic faithful to pray and support their new Bishop irrespective of his cultural background, and position themselves to receive God’s blessing as a united family.
He advised the youth in the country, whom he said are the majority population in the country, to refuse being used as instruments of violence for selfish leaders and to at all times shun political exploitation.
Cardinal Njue said: “Avoid issues that make you frustrated and disappointed. You are on transition and have a mission to accomplish in your lifetime in order to attain self fulfillment”
Former President Daniel arap Moi urged Christians allow the gospel of Christ to dwell in their hearts and strive to be the salt of the world by promoting peace in their neighbourhoods.
The former President said he attended the ceremony to share joy in the installation of a new bishop in the diocese, and petitioned all communities living in the vast province to co-exist harmoniously
Other who addressed the ceremony included the Minister for Agriculture William Ruto, Youth Affairs Prof Helen Sambili, and the area MP Lee Kinyanjui.
In attendance were assistant minister Charles Keter, several legislators drawn from various parts of the country and other senior government officials.