We 33 Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Bishops meeting in our Church headquarters in Nairobi from 10th to 12th January, 2008 wish to state the following;
We met for purposes of Prayer, Reflection, Consultation with each other and to seek together as church leaders God's guidance concerning the present painful and damaging crisis following the disputed Presidential results announced by the Electoral Commission of Kenya.We reflected on the word of God, particularly 1 Kings 3:4-28, Amos 7:1ff and Luke 10:25-27. Our reflection of the word of God underlined the following:
- That we Kenyans pray for and apply God's wisdom in handling the situation. God's wisdom gives patience to listen to both sides of the controversy, recognizes that we are dealing with imperfect human beings, recognizes the damages already done, provides a way out to reach a just solution without destroying the good that may still be remaining.
- That we Kenyans seek peace which is based on honesty, strive for right relationship with God, repentance of sins of commission and omission and seek to make peace founded on justice.
- That we Kenyans strive to practice good neighbourliness that extends help to all that are in need of help irrespective of their tribe, political persuasion, race or religious affiliation,
Neighbourliness that feels compassion and acts positivelyNeighbourliness that sacrifices comfort to address the needs practically andNeghbourliness that involves ones finances to helpWe humbled ourselves before God and prayerfully owned up our shortcomings in repentance for that we should have done better than we did as a church and church leadership in teaching and nurturing righteousness, justice and peace.We unanimously resolved the following:
- That we call both parties to submit themselves to mediated dialogue on outstanding issues. And that both parties restrain themselves from activities that may go against the spirit of effective dialogue
- That we urge the public to maintain law and order to avoid any further violence and that the Law enforcers provide security without excessive force especially not to use live bullets on the people and to avoid being partisan.
- That we shall press on to all concerned that further prohibition of free flow of information provides a fertile ground for mistrust, propaganda and rumour which would further worsen the ongoing stalemate.
- That we shall urge all in leadership, including religious, administrative and political leadership to ensure they promote peace within their localities and areas of influence.
- That we shall work with and support relief agencies including the Government to respond aggressively and equitably to all the affected areas.
- That we are committed to work together with likeminded organizations or bodies, especially the inter-faith forum taskforce to network to uncover the mystery underlying the disputed tallying of the Presidential votes in a bid to establish the truth and justice to the Kenyan voter.
- That we urge the political leaders through Parliament to embark on the constitutional amendments that would give way to addressing gaps that may be in the electoral Laws and the powers of the President, which should subsequently lead to the delivery of a new constitution for Kenya within the shortest time possible.
- That we call upon the Government, Civil Society, Religious Organisations, Business Community and all Stakeholders to aggressively and urgently address all the many root causes that continue to add to the building up of a volatile scenario that waits to be ignited into tribal, generational and economic class violence, by an issue like election campaigns or the controversy we keep witnessing time and again. We take special note of some of the root causes that include;
- Unemployment that has left more than 1.5 million youth literally idle and without gainful employment.
- Inequality in land tenure system that allows few people to own big and idle land when many Kenyans are landless.
- Growing gap between rich and the poor that breeds two conspicuous and incompatible 'tribes' of the 'haves' and the 'have nots'.
- Corruption that continues to mismanage resources to the advantage of the very few. Such resources would otherwise have been for the betterment of services and improvement of the lives of many Kenyans.
- We call our faithful and all believers in Kenya to be united in prayer for our beloved Nation. That God' will
Make us instruments of peace so thatWhere there is hatred, we sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
Where there is sadness joy."To God's Glory and Honour, AmenThe Most Rev. Benjamin Nzimbi
Archbishop of Kenya & Bishop of All Saints Cathedral Diocese For and on behalf of All ACK Bishops