• April 16, 2024
  • Last Update April 16, 2024 3:59 PM
  • Nairobi

NCCK wants NADCO report circulated

NCCK wants NADCO report circulated

Nakuru,

Saturday, March 16, 2024

KNA by Anne Mwale /Dennis Rasto

The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) is advocating for a comprehensive and transparent plan to disseminate the national dialogue report, compiled by the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO).

The report, compiled by the Kalonzo Musyoka and Kimani Ichung’wah-led committee, was released in November last year with wide-ranging recommendations on the structure of governance and the reduction of the high cost of living among other proposals.

Addressing journalists in Nakuru, NCCK South Rift Region chairman Bishop Peter Muiruri on Friday, said the report must reach a wider audience so that the public can interrogate its findings and recommendations.

Bishop Muiruri also proposed a nationwide civic education for a better understanding of the NADCO report.

The clergyman who spoke after chairing a meeting of the executive arm of the South Rift NCCK Regional Conference indicated that Kenyans should be provided with both English and Kiswahili copies of the report to enable them to read and make the required input.

The meeting brought together representatives from Samburu, Baringo, Nakuru, Kericho, Bomet and Narok Counties.

The cleric who is also the African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPCA) Nakuru East Diocese’s Presiding Bishop expressed concerns that many Kenyans had not received copies of the report yet they are expected to read and contribute to proposed legislations or Constitutional amendments that may emanate from it.

“Let Kenyans be furnished with copies of the report so that they read and understand it. It is through the proper understanding that Kenyans will be able to make significant contributions regarding proposed amendments and legislations,” said Bishop Muiruri.

Bishop Muiruri said the worst affected people as far as access to the report are those living in rural constituencies and centres.

“Many people here tell me they have only heard about the report from the media, but we want those who are literate to read and understand it because this is a public document,” the clergyman said.

The NADCO report was unveiled with some recommendations, including proposals to reduce the cost of living, audit the 2022 electoral process, and restructure the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

On electoral justice and related matters, NADCO has recommended the evaluation of the 2022 electoral process, the establishment of an expanded selection panel for the IEBC commissioners, the increase of timelines for the resolution of presidential election petitions, and the postponement of legal reforms passed less than 18 months before the general elections.

The NCCK further petitioned the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU) and the government to dialogue and arrive at a consensus on issues affecting healthcare workers across the country. KMPDU announced the commencement of a nationwide strike starting from midnight on March 13, 2024, The strike is centred around the demand for mandatory medical internship postings for over 4,000 medical graduates.

The Ministry of Health, however, insists that the deployment of the current batch of medics will require Sh4.9 billion, which it says it cannot afford. Bishop Muiruri pleaded with the union not to proceed with the countrywide strike.

“NCCK is pleading with the unions to come to the table so that they can move forward together with the Government. We are also pleading with them that they don’t go on strike,” the South Rift Regional Chairman stated.

NCCK, according to Bishop Muiruri, acknowledged that there have been unresolved issues between the ministry and the union, but added that striking would not be the best course of action.

The Council further urged both the County and National governments to work together and formulate a lasting solution to perennial land conflicts and historical injustices that have rocked the region.

He indicated that vicious land disputes, including those regarded as historical injustices in the region, have been the cause of conflicts among various communities.

NCCK observed that clashes between different communities living in the County were linked to unresolved historical land conflicts.

In the past, thorny land issues have led to bloodshed and loss of lives after individuals and communities clashed over ownership. Some of the cases which involve double allocation of land have resulted in court cases.

Among areas that have witnessed bloodshed due to land conflicts are Naivasha, Njoro, Rongai, Gilgil, Bahati, Molo, Kuresoi South, Mai Mahiu, and parts of Mau Narok.

At the 26,000-acre Ngongongeri land in Njoro, where prominent people are alleged to have acquired huge tracts of land at the expense of genuine landowners, bloody conflicts have been experienced in the past.

There have also been disputes involving land that borders the expansive Mau Forest. In Mariashoni and Kiptunga for instance, the government placed a caveat against parcels of land following protracted disputes. Bishop Muiruri noted in Njoro, Kuresoi, Likia, and Molo the conflicts over land date back to the colonial era.

The county, he said, has the dubious distinction of having the highest number of land rows that usually degenerate into ethnic conflicts. Bishop Muiruri stated that NCCK’s position was that the government should not loosen its grip on the fight against illicit brew production and consumption, adding that Kenya has lost the most productive generation as a result of this.

The cleric added that criminal activities emanating from gangs have increased as a result of drug abuse in the county. Illicit brews, according to NCCK, have contributed to both social and health problems which has contributed to family break-ups and poverty across the country.

The chairman said the government’s commitment to the war against illicit drugs was major and very timely to save the generation from being wiped out.

“NCCK condemns in the strongest terms possible cases of unnecessary drunkenness and drug consumption. As a faith-based organization, we will continue standing firm in condemning illicit brew consumption because drug abuse has a huge negative impact on youth and development,” said Bishop Muiruri.

The chairperson indicated that NCCK supports the proposal by NADCO report that all arms of government reduce their travel budgets by 50 percent and that the Salaries and Remuneration Commission review daily subsistence allowances for state and public officers to reduce them by 30 percent. This he said will significantly lower the cost of living.

The NADCO report also proposes that the national government finalize the transfer of all devolved functions and provide for the concomitant resources to the county governments.

The dialogue team further proposed that Parliament amend the Constitution to provide for an equitable share of the county governments, not less than 20 percent of all revenue collected by the national government.

However, the committee was unable to reach a consensus on several other proposals on the matter of the cost of living, including the reduction of VAT on fuel from 16 percent to 8 percent and the scrapping of the housing levy, the twin issues in the Finance Act 2023.

On the entrenchment of funds into the Constitution, NADCO has recommended the entrenchment of the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF), the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF), and the Senate Oversight Fund.

NADCO further recommends the establishment of the Ward Development Fund by statute.

On the establishment and entrenchment of state offices, NADCO has recommended the establishment of the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition, who is the leader of the largest party or coalition of political parties that garnered the second-greatest number of votes in the immediately preceding presidential elections with two deputies.

NADCO further recommends the establishment of the Office of Prime Minister to be nominated and, upon approval by the National Assembly, appointed by the President.

On the fidelity of the law on multiparty democracy, NADCO has recommended the establishment of the Independent Political Parties Regulatory Commission as an independent body that shall be responsible for the registration of political parties and their office holders and the management of political parties’ funds, a role currently vested in the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties.

The report has been shared electronically with President William Ruto and Azimio leader Raila Odinga for their endorsement before being subjected to a referendum.

Courtesy; KNA

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