News 2008


Churches: We let Kenyans down

Daily Nation


13. 02. 2008

Churches leaders have publicly acknowledged they were partisan prior to Kenya’s the December elections making it impossible for them to forestall the political crisis facing the country.

In a candid appraisal of their performance, the leaders whose churches are members of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), said they did not speak in one voice, could not agree on the way elections should be managed and identified with their people on the basis of ethnicity.

“Religious leaders failed to stay on the middle path, they took sides and were unable to bring the unity needed when the crisis arose,” NCCK Secretary General Peter Karanja said.

The divisions were carried forward even after the elections making it difficult to agree on how to deal with the resulting crisis that led to the death of about 1,000 people and the displacement of 350,000.

“Church leaders have displayed partisan values in situations that called for national interests. The church has remained disunited and its voice swallowed in the cacophony of other vested interests,” the leaders said in a statement read by Mr Karanja after a meeting of NCCK’s executive committee at the Limuru Conference Centre.

The chairman, Dr Eliud Wabukala it was important that Kenyans start afresh since all had failed to play their part including the church leaders.

“We have decided to start afresh. All have failed including the church leaders and it is therefore important that as Kenyans we start afresh,” Dr Wabukala said.

The church leaders however said they had put in place measures to recapture their rightful position in society as the moral authority of the nation.

They promised they were now ready to confront the divisive forces and set off on a new beginning. They will do their best in helping achieve the rebirth of a new Kenya.

They demanded for the arrest of political leaders or their supporters from all communities who might have been involved in fanning, planning or perpetuating the killings and displacement of people, destruction of property and people’s livelihood.

Security forces who used excessive force in the quelling of the riots that followed after the presidential poll results were declared should be held accountable for their actions.