The Star (Nairobi)

28 September 2012

Kenya: Growing 'Religious' Intolerance Worries Church

The Anglican Church has raised the alarm over what it termed as "simmering religious intolerance" which may result in long-term tensions and conflict. The church's House of Bishops said recent destruction, burning and looting of churches and property in Mombasa and Garissa should be addressed promptly.

The bishops were speaking in Nakuru where they called for the immediate appointment of the Inspector General of police ahead of the next general election In a statement read by Archbishop Elius Wabukala, the church said it was concerned about the slow pace of police service reforms coming at a time when there was need for comprehensive security arrangements during the elections.

The bishops urged President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to ask security organs to come up with a joint operation plan for the elections The church called for transparency in the procurement of biometric registration kits. Wabukala called for an elaborate civic education programme ahead of the polls noting that IEBC was running behind schedule on the same.

He asked Parliament to consult with churches and women organisations to resolve the impasse over gender parity issue. Wabukala warned that Kenya risks a constitutional crisis if the issue is not addressed. The church took issue with inflammatory utterances by political leaders. Wabukala warned that the trend where political leaders make inflammatory remarks, apologise and get away with is setting a "dangerous precedent."

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