, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 11 – The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) now says it will use provisions in the Constitution to push for amendments to the clauses they consider contentious in the new law.
NCCK General Secretary Canon Peter Karanja said on Wednesday that they hope the government will also honour its campaign pledge and support the amendments.
“We trust that the government leadership will fulfill the promises they made during the referendum campaigns that the contentious issues were acknowledged and would be resolved after the referendum. We as NCCK undertake to contribute fully to all the efforts made to resolve these issues using the mechanisms provided for in the new Constitution,” he said.
He urged the government to ensure the full implementation of the new Constitution but pay attention to inclusion and consideration of those opposed to the Constitution due to controversial provisions.
“For this reason, we urge that the concerns of the 2.7 million Kenyans who voted against the now-adopted Constitution be addressed so that they can unreservedly embrace the emerging constitutional dispensation,” he said.
Canon Karanja further appealed to Kenyans not to focus on the just concluded referendum campaigns but on development and stability of the country.
He also asked those who voted against the Constitution to accept the verdict of the majority of Kenyans and support the reform agenda especially the full implementation of the new Constitution.
During the referendum campaigns, President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga had asked the churches to support the new Constitution with a pledge to work on contentious issues later.
Church leaders were against a clause on the right to life, claiming that it gave leeway to abortion on demand. The churches also wanted Kadhi’s courts to be eliminated from the Constitution.