Kenya civil society begins civic education

April 18, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 18 – The National Civil Society Congress (NCSC) announced on Sunday that it has officially launched its countrywide civic education exercise to sensitise Kenyans on the proposed Constitution.

NCSC President Morris Odhiambo said the civic education will be held countrywide to educate Kenyans on the need to vote for the draft law to enable Kenyan attain a new Constitution.

Another official of the Congress the Rev Timothy Njoya said they will mainly focus on educating Kenyans against what he termed as ‘falsehoods’ being peddled by opponents of the draft.

“We are tired of the falsehoods being peddled around by opponents of the draft Constitution, they are using intimidation to mislead Kenyans against the draft Constitution,” Rev Njoya said.

“We urge Kenyans to realise the need to vote for a new Constitution and vote for it. Those opposing the new Constitution are not basing their arguments on facts, but mere lies and deceit.”

He particularly accused the leadership of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) of misleading their followers.

“We will continue to pray for the church leaders who are opposing the proposed draft Constitution to wake up to the reality and change their stand,” he said.

Lawyer Harun Ndubi who is also an official of the NCSC said the arguments being advanced by opponents of the draft Constitution over the Kadhis courts were misleading.

Retired Anglican Church Archbishop David Gitari who spoke at Sunday church service at the All Saints Cathedral said he will be voting ‘Yes’ for the proposed law.

His sentiments appeared to contradict church leaders who have vowed to mobilise their followers to vote against the draft Constitution during the national plebiscite.

“To say Yes is an evil, to say No is another evil, those evils means we are going to have a Constitution which is not perfect not as good as we thought with many issues which should be thrashed out. To say No means we go back to the Lancaster Constitution and it will take another 20 years.

“The choice is yours,” he said and declared “Yes, because if we say ‘Yes’ we will get a better Constitution than the Lancaster Constitution. A Constitution which is not perfect but at least opens a way to look at it again after we have passed it.”

That was the mood in the lakeside town of Kisumu where former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga was rallying for a ‘Yes’ campaign.

“The stage is set for the new constitutional dispensation and the youth must stand up and be counted,” he said.

Mr Njenga who declared his support for the draft law when he met Prime Minister Raila Odinga last week said the youth have the power to make reforms the country has yearned for since independence noting that the youth are the majority in the country.

Mr Njenga said the proposed Constitution is friendly to the youth and urged them to register as voters to enable them participate in the national referendum due in August.

Mr Njenga was accompanied by Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s son Fidel Odinga at a fund raiser for the youth, where they warned the youth against being used by politicians during the national referendum campaigns.

He said that the youth should embrace peace and not politicians using them to cause mayhem during the campaigns.

“We should not be used by politicians for their selfish gains but fight for our rights that has been spelled clearly in the new Constitution,” Mr Njenga said.


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