Festus Tarawalie – Vatican City
In a statement read at a press conference in Nairobi on Tuesday, Kenyan Bishops urged politicians to “…restrain themselves and their supporters from incitement, and selfish ambitions, and instead concentrate on constructive dialogue.”
The Bishops said the current debate on a “national referendum on reforms should be structured so that the key issues for review are brought out and discussed openly and soberly to avoid the polarisation that was seen after the country last elections.
Kenya must always maintain stability during and after General Elections
The Bishops noted that they supported an audit on the implementation of the 2010 republican onstitution and advised that any discussions on the amendments should come from Kenyans. They also warned the public from engaging in debates that may cause dangerous political hatred.
“We are encouraged that Kenyans are very attentive to the details of the Constitution such as when election campaigns should start and end, the role of the three arms of government, the role of independent Commissions, the right of citizens, among others,” they said.
The Catholic Church, the Bishops said, “is open to any process that guarantees stability during and after General Elections, and a process that promotes the common good of Kenyans.”
This week’s Tuesday’s statement from the Bishops followed the plenary assembly of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) which took place in Isiolo, a town situated 285 Kilometres north of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya.
Kenyan Bishops Pledge to fight Child Abuse
Also at the press conference on Tuesday, the Kenyan Catholic Bishops pledged to enforce policies that protect children and minors against all forms of abuse.
“The Violence and evils committed against minors and vulnerable members of a society is a sign of a morally sick society. As your shepherds, we shall do everything possible to implement policies on child protection and safeguarding of these vulnerable members and require all who work with minors to commit themselves to these policies,” they said in the statement read by Archbishop-designate for the Catholic Archdiocese of Kisumu, Phillip Anyolo.
The Bishops condemned the recent upsurge in cases of sexual, physical and emotional abuse against minors that have resulted in unplanned pregnancies and in some cases, death.
“The increased cases of pregnant school girls clearly show that our children are being terribly abused, and we must tackle this problem at all levels of our society,” they said.