, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 18 – President Mwai Kibaki has urged political leaders to preach peace and harmony among Kenyans and shun early campaigns that are likely to sow seeds of hatred in the country.
President Kibaki noted that the countdown to any general election was an important part of the democratic process as events that take place before any general election determine the final outcome.
The President was speaking during the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) 20th General Assembly at St. Andrews Church, Nairobi.
The Head of State impressed on the Church to be at the forefront in sensitising the electorate to exercise their democratic rights in voting for men and women of integrity during the forthcoming general elections.
“Let us always remember that Kenya is larger than any single individual or political party. It is important therefore that we remain at peace and avoid early campaigns that can plant the seed of hatred in our country,” he said.
The President, on that note, called on leaders to remain focused on the development aspirations of all Kenyans.
With regard to implementation of the Constitution President Kibaki implored the Church to continue partnering with the Government in providing civic education to enlighten Kenyans on benefits accruing from the provisions of the new constitutional order.
He noted that the various institutions established by the constitution had been operationalised reminding Kenyans that the gains that came with the new Constitution can only be fully realized with participation of everybody in its full implementation.
“I am very pleased that the implementation of our new Constitution is on schedule. Various important institutions such as the Commission on Administrative of Justice, the Commission on Revenue Allocation, and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), have been set up and are fully functional. Moreover, our Judiciary has been revamped,” he added.
With regard to the role of the church in development, the President expressed his government’s commitment to continue supporting the religious institutions in their efforts to improve the lives of Kenyans.
He challenged the church to lead by example and maintain impartiality in the fight against drug, alcohol abuse, corruption and injustice.
He said: “The Church is one of the most important moral voices in our society. It must boldly defend the poor and voiceless in our midst.”
The Head of State called upon the clergy and followers to ensure that they set good examples in society through conduct and speech saying that Christianity need be an everyday lifestyle, and not a Sunday or Saturday morning affair.
On the complementary role of the Church and State in development, President Kibaki appreciate the contribution that PCEA has continued to make in nation building, especially in the areas of education and healthcare.
“The schools that you sponsor continue to mould the lives of thousands of young Kenyans. The Presbyterian University is also playing an important role in developing the human resource base that we require for the attainment of our VISION 2030,” he quipped.
The President acknowledged the affordable medical services offered to Kenyans by mission hospitals, which he said were, renowned for eye treatment and orthopedics.
President Kibaki congratulated, Right Reverend David Gathanju on his re-election as PCEA Moderator for a second term to serve God, the P.C.E.A Church and humanity as a whole. He also congratulated Reverend Patrick Mutahi and Ammon Nderi as they assume their new offices.
Addressing the same occasion the Moderator of the General Assembly Rt Rev. David Gathanju thanked President for overseeing one of the most ambitious reconstruction and development programmes in the country.
In attendance were Acting Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia, acting Internal Security Permanent Secretary Mutea Iringo and other senior government officials.