NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 29 –The Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) have pledged to work together towards the promotion of good governance and integrity as the country edges closer to the August 2022 elections.
The resolution followed a meeting between the two commissions on Wednesday in Nairobi.
In a joint statement read by EACC Chief Executive Officer Twalib Mbarak, the two commissions also deliberated on various issues touching on their respective mandates including the progress realized in the implementation of Chapter 6 of the Constitution on Leadership and Integrity.
The EACC CEO stated that the anti-corruption watchdog and NCCK will continue to advocate for strengthening of the legal framework on implementation of Chapter 6 of the Constitution.
“Specifically, the Commission and NCCK deliberated on the issues of: civic vetting of persons seeking elective positions to circumvent the existing inadequate legal mechanism for enforcement of Chapter 6 of the Constitution,” he said.
He added that they also deliberated on the role of the church in safeguarding itself against infiltration and use to advance political agenda.
“There is a need for the church to put in place mechanisms to sensitize its members on their civic duty and particularly the youth against political manipulation, bribery and involvement in violence during the electoral period,” he added.
The EACC CEO said they resolved that the NCCK will rally its members across the country to create awareness on the dangers of corruption, and marshal synergy among churches towards good governance and ethical leadership.
Mbarak further stated that they had resolved that the NCCK will encourage churches to sensitize their followers on their civil duty to elect leaders with integrity.
They also resolved that the EACC and NCCK will focus on the youth with anti-corruption messages to insulate them from misuse by political leaders during the electioneering period.
Other resolutions include working together in the fight against corruption and advocate for strengthening of the legal framework on implementation of Chapter 6 of the Constitution.
EACC Chairperson Retired Archbishop Eliud Wabukala who also spoke in the event said that there was need for Kenyans to remain informed during the electioneering period in order to make sound decisions.
He added that it was important for Kenyans to live together in harmony even during the post-election period.
“We have tried to talk about issues of leadership, integrity and governance and particularly as we go towards the elections of this country, we want to see people informed about the decisions to elect right people in office. We are also trying to seek citizen participation in keeping unity and peace because after elections we must be together,” said Wabukala.
The EACC CEO Mbarak said that there were gaps in the law which make it difficult to bar leaders with questionable education qualifications and integrity from vying for any seats.
“Today there is a gap, if you get an MP with fake academic papers and you take him to court you cannot tell him to stand down. You will wait until you get the ruling. When you get the ruling immediately, he files an appeal, automatically he gets a reprieve,” he said
Mbarak added that such gaps need to be amended giving an example of nine governors who have been charged by the commission but are still serving because of the existing gap.
In addressing the issue of politics in church, the NCCK General Secretary Chris Kinyanjui said the council had made itself clear over the matter adding that following regional meetings with their churches they resolved to ban politics from their places of worship.
“We discussed with our church leaders, we analyzed the political environment, the tension that is growing with the preparation of elections, and we came to the conclusion that politics and the pulpit should not go together. We issued statements saying we are banning, and you have seen most of our member churches do not allow politicians to politic during the Sunday services in the pulpit,” he said.
Kenya is currently experiencing political uncertainty ahead of 2022 elections as political leaders drum up support from the electorates across the country.
Already incidences of violence have been witnessed in some parts of the country directed at various leaders on the campaign trail.