HOPE AND OPPORTUNITY FOR THE NATION TO DIALOGUE TOGETHER

HOPE AND OPPORTUNITY FOR THE NATION TO DIALOGUE TOGETHER
His Grace the Archbishop Addresses a press conference on the 16th of Dec., 2019 at the All. Saints Cathedral. Photo/Dixon Andiwa

PRESS STATEMENT BY THE ARCHBISHOP OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF KENYA ON THE REPORT OF THE BUILDING BRIDGES INITIATIVE (BBI) TASK FORCE

HOPE AND OPPORTUNITY FOR THE NATION TO DIALOGUE TOGETHER

Isaiah Chapter 1 Verses 18: “Come now and Let us reason together”

Preamble

Dear Kenyans, we send you Good will greetings at this point in time as we get in to the festive season. We thank God for the rains we have received in the recent months of the Year 2019. While a blessing to the country, the rains have also led to loss of lives and injuries, an indication of the urgent need for the country to enhance its disaster preparedness and response mechanisms.

We send our condolences to the families that have lost loved ones as a result of the effects of the rains. For those injured we pray that they will quickly recover; and for those who lost property we pray that they will start anew.

It is appropriate that we take this period of festivities, celebration and renewing our faith to also reflect, both individually and collectively, on the state of our Country.

The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI)

On 27th November 2019 the President launched the report of the BBI.   We commend the BBI team for the report and both the President and former Prime Minister for the handshake that set the stage for this report, which gives Kenyans an opportunity to reflect on and engage on addressing issues that continue to  challenge us as a society.

The BBI Report identifies several critical issues that we must openly discuss as members of the Kenyan Family so as to ensure deeper cohesion and progress. These include:

Need for us as a country to address ourselves to the dishonesty in our approach to both public and private life. We need openness and honesty in both our private lives and our public engagements. Dishonesty is counter-productive and a big contributor to our current state of affairs.

Respect for our ethnic diversity. We do not choose the tribes into which we are born. In December 1963 we committed ourselves to build one strong Nation of Kenya together. Since then we continuously see ourselves as members of different tribes in competition with each other, more than members of one nation called Kenya. We have to recognize that divided we shall disintegrate. Only when we are  united shall  we prevail.

The majority of our population is youth, and many of them require gainful engagement and employment. We must give priority to opportunities for youth to participate constructively in the building of our Nation, at all levels.

Our national economy must compete successfully at local, regional, continental and global levels. To succeed, we must apply ways and means to reduce costs especially recurrent while boosting income at personal, family and national levels and review our borrowing both locally and internationally. This is the only way toward economic sustainability.

The corruption vice has affected the foundation of nationhood. Corruption undermines national stability and national sustainability. Every Kenyan must endeavor to live honestly, work diligently, and live within our means.

As individuals and as a nation we must focus more on our necessities, and less on luxuries. In that way as a nation we can invest for the sake of our youth now and in the future, at all levels, including the Churches.

We need more statesmanship and less politics of brinkmanship. Statesmanship focuses on the greater good for all. Politics focuses on individual interests.

Opportunity

The BBI  report  is aptly titled toward a United Kenya: From a nation of blood ties to a nation of ideals. It provides the Kenya Nation with new hope. It is an opportunity for honest national discourse and conversation  on what is ailing our beloved Nation, and also on what needs to be done for our nation to prosper.

I urge all Kenyans to take time to read the BBI Report, be positive and have conversation  about it at  every level. The conversation must focus on what we can do with the problems the report documents, which of its recommendations help us to address those problems, and how we can implement those recommendations and move the country forward.

We also recognize that there may be areas where Kenyans feel some aspects may not be fully or accurately diagnosed. The opportunity for conversation is to enable us build consensus on solving all the problems that face us as a nation in an atmosphere that divides and not separates. I urge all people to discuss with a view to building and not destroying our nation.

I urge the President to reconsider his decision to extend the terms of the BBI Team. The team has done a commendable job. They  should not be required to shepherd the process of  trying to identify whatever lose ends exist in the process and rolling out the implementation process. This should instead be handed to a team of experts, with youth representation. We also urge the inclusion of those who have felt left out in the previous BBI process.

As a church, we commit to playing our part in furthering the aspirations of the BBI toward tangible outcomes as aspired in the BBI Report.

In conclusion, we urge all citizens to drive carefully during this festive season to enhance safety on our roads.

Signed on this date, 16th December 2019 at the All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi

The Most Rev. Dr. Jackson Ole Sapit,

Archbishop of Kenya, Bishop of the All Saints Diocese, Bishop -in- Ordinary to the Kenya Defence  Forces.

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