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Church tells PM, Uhuru to behave

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 4 – Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Eliud Wabukala on Friday urged Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his deputy Uhuru Kenyatta to stop their public spat and heed calls made by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to tone down their exchanges.

Archbishop Wabukala said that the utterances made by the two leaders recently risked dividing Kenyans along tribal lines while at the same time derailing the constitution implementation process.

He argued that the two leaders should strive to iron out their differences amicably as opposed to exchanging insults in public.

"It\’s not just the warning that should make them change and I think as leaders it is upon them to take the responsibility they have to Kenyans seriously by conducting themselves in a way that is commensurate with their positions," he said.

The NCIC on Thursday ordered the Premier, Mr Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto to stop hurling insults at each other. The commission further indicated that it had issued notices to the three asking them to follow the directive.

NCIC vice chairperson Mary Onyango had pointed out that the utterances could trigger divisions between different ethnic communities.

"This is the first time that we have issued cessation notices," Ms Onyango said.

The Archbishop also asked politicians to hold their plans for next year\’s elections and instead focus on spearheading the country\’s reform agenda. He argued that time for implementing the Constitution was running out.

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"They should not plan their campaigns for 2012 because the Constitution is still not implemented; if they don\’t implement it we are going to be in a vacuum in terms of carrying out this nation\’s agenda," he said.

Archbishop Wabukala who doubles up as the chairman of the National Anti Corruption Steering Committee (NACSC) asked Kenyans to remain committed in their fight against graft by ridding the country of low level corruption.

He further lauded efforts made by the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) in fighting the vice which slowed down the country\’s development agenda.

"It contributes to the unemployment that we have because it diverts resources from what they are supposed to do into areas that are personal and unproductive. It is actually responsible for a lot of the evils that we have," he said.

Archbishop Wabukala was speaking during the launch of a book on corruption. The book published by the Youth Agenda recommends policies on the fight against graft.

Youth Agenda Chief Executive Officer, Susan Kariuki, said that the civil society (in conjunction with the KACC) would soon release a toll free number where Kenyans will be able to report any incidences where they encounter graft.

Ms Kariuki further argued that the fight against corruption required an attitude change as well as legal, institutional and administrative interventions.

"Building values and behaviour change takes time and consistency. This calls for walking the talk of a value driven approach and behaviour change especially targeting the youth during their formative stages," she said.

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