Disregard for constitution to blame for massive corruption, NCCK

When the late President Mwai Kibake displayed the constitution during the promulgation at the Uhuru Park grounds in Nairobi on August 27, 2010. [File, Standard]

Open disregard to constitution is to blame for the massive corruption witnessed in state agencies across the country, the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has said.

In their statement reflecting on the gains and misses of Constitution at 13 years, NCCK said public officials have continued to blatantly disregard the laws and the court orders a move that has offended the dictates of Chapter 6 of the Constitution which sets the standards of leadership.

"The social economic rights to food, health, water and sanitation, housing and fair employment opportunities continue to be undermined by the endemic corruption," the NCCK said.

In a statement signed by Chairperson Archbishop Timothy Ndambuki and Secretary General Canon Peter Kinyanjui, the churches' umbrella body is also apprehensive that political rhetoric has continued to threaten peace and security of the citizens.

"This has led to the weakening of the independent commissions and the offices that are meant to protect and promote justice and national cohesion," the statement read in part.

The churches' lobby group is also concerned about the continued gross violation of human rights of citizens especially by the police and security agencies.

"The police and security agencies have at times been used to suppress the rights of the people with arrests being adopted to silence dissent," the NCCK said.

Citing the heavy-handed crackdown on demonstrators by Azimio coalition supporters, the church said police actions led to the death of close to 100 people.

Kenyans too have been urged to familiarize themselves with the tenets of the Constitution for them to have good understanding of their rights and responsibilities.

"You can't seek what you don't know you deserve, attend public participation forums and make opinions and desires known, do not let others make for your decisions that affect your life," the statement read.

The members of public have also been requiring to speak out to condemn and expose injustices committed against them and to also resist corruption and impunity, 'a cancer that we must all stand up against before or undermines our constitution'.

However, NCCK noted that devolution has been the highest gain of the constitution saying or has brought services closer to the people.

"Cultural and religious diversity recognized by the Constitution has seen Kenyans live in peace and unity as one indivisible sovereign nation," NCCK said.