Kenyan Catholics roll out No campaign

May 11, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 11 – The Catholic Church on Tuesday said it was rolling out its own civic education programme to push for the rejection of the Proposed Constitution since the State has closed doors for amendments before the referendum.

Cardinal John Njue told reporters that the Church “will be promoting the teaching of our Church through the usual means of communication.” 

“Our responsibility is to educate the public on the contents of the draft constitution and make it clear to them there are areas which are not compatible with what we stand for,” said Cardinal Njue.

He said the church remains opposed to the inclusion of Kadhis Courts in the Constitution and a clause in the Bill of Rights they claim leaves a loophole on the implications of the legalisation of abortion.

The Cardinal said the church will be announcing a national day of prayer.

“We have already laid down our strategies that will be carried out through the competent offices. Civic education will definitely be carried out,” he added.

The church will be out competing with the Committee of Experts which officially launched its civic education and the government-led initiative spearheaded by President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga on the Yes camp.

President Kibaki and Mr Odinga on Tuesday announced a Yes campaign rally scheduled for this Saturday and said 23 political parties had agreed to form a secretariat to drive the Yes campaign.

Last Saturday a group of Church Leaders held National prayers on their opposition to the draft, a function that doubled as the launch of their No campaign. The Catholic Church and the Anglican Church were however conspicuously absent raising questions on the unity of the religious leaders in their opposition.

Cardinal Njue nevertheless defended his church’s absence saying it was due to communication breakdown on the organisation of the event. He said although Catholic faithful did not participate in last rally at Uhuru Park, they remain united with other Church leaders in rejecting the draft.

“We are still in very great communion with our brothers,” he said in declaring the unity of the church. “Our absence must not be misinterpreted by anybody.”

A referendum is expected in less than three months.



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