Prove rigging claims, Kenyan clergy told

August 7, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 7- The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) says members of the clergy who claim there were irregularities in the referendum poll must provide evidence or cease making baseless claims.

The Chairman of the NCIC Mzalendo Kibunjia told the National Council Churches of Kenya (NCCK) that they should provide tangible proof instead of making outlandish accusations that were likely to cause disunity.

"It\’s very important that we do not make statements that are likely to excite Kenyans to the point where they can break the law like we saw in 2007. I don\’t think that is good for this country especially for church leaders who have a huge following in this country," he said.

He however pointed out that the commission could not take any action against the said church leaders saying: "We have no such mandate but we can put pressure them as a commission and tell (NCCK Secretary General) Canon Peter Karanja that what he said was in bad faith. The onus is now on him."

Canon Karanja questioned the validity of the referendum outcome saying it was characterised by malpractices and irregularities before and during voting.

But Dr Kibunjia argued that such statements went against the spirit of integration and cohesion.

He also commended Kenyans for focusing on issue based politics rather than tribal inclinations as had been the case in the past.

"We need now to make sure that those leaders who have been thriving on ethnicity and separating people do not have a chance either now or in the future especially with view to the 2012 elections. We could always agree to disagree without eliciting tribal ethnic or religious passions," he argued.

The NCIC Chair also said that the commission would soon embark on nationwide peace rallies in the spirit of sustaining harmony among Kenyans and prevent a recurrence of the post election violence.

He explained that the peace drives would be an opportunity to create awareness among Kenyans on the importance of focusing on developmental politics.

"If you consider the number of political contests that this new Constitution has opened for all parts of the country, it is very important that we rightly shape the politics in this country; such that all leaders looking for these positions will stick to the issues rather than those divide us," he said.

Dr Kibunjia who also commended the Interim Independent Electoral Commission for a job well done added that the commission would set an appropriate date for the works once it got the necessary financial resources.

He also asked Kenyans to join arms in ensuring that the country\’s long term development plan was realised. He argued that the country ought to start crusading for Vision 2030 to help it achieve everything it had been clamoring for.

"We are on the right track and what we should take with a passion is the implementation of Vision 2030 to make sure that this country becomes a democratic, middle income society by 2030," he said.

The NCIC Chair added that the commission was also planning to visit all the 210 constituencies in the country to ensure that every Kenyan "owns the new constitution."



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