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Read the draft carefully, cleric tells Christians

WEEKLY NOTE
By | November 30th 2009

By Wahome Thuku

Christians have been urged to read the Harmonised Draft Constitution before accepting or rejecting it.

Senior Presbyterian Church of East African cleric Patrick Mungiriria at the same time warned the country against listening and following political leaders who had expressed partisan interests on the draft.

"We have for long been chained by these politicians who are only noise makers and we should ignore them now," he told the congregation at the PCEA St Andrews Church in Nairobi.

Dr Mungiriria, who is the church moderator, told faithful to read the commas, full stops and the small prints to ensure they were not misled.

"You should treat this like an insurance policy or loan securing document, which contain very important small print that binds you," he said in his Sunday sermon.

He appealed to Kenyans to attend forums where experts were discussing the draft to get full understanding of its provisions.

Church doctrines

The moderator, however, echoed sentiments held by other church leaders that no religious groups should be accorded a special place in the constitution. He said religious groups had their own doctrines, which should govern them and should not be included in the national constitution.

Earlier, a legal expert took the congregation through portions of the draft. The church will be organising a talk shop for the public to present their views.

And Internal Security Minister George Saitoti and Lands Minister James Orengo have agreed the current coalition arrangement offers the best opportunity to achieve a new constitution before 2012. The two ministers said the coalition had proved to be a good working formula between rival political parties.

Speaking in Ugenya at the weekend, Prof Saitoti said: "This is the time and if we fail as leaders, then the people will never listen to us again."

Orengo said a few disgruntled politicians were out to frustrate gains made to achieve good governance. "We can go far if we work together and that is why Saitoti is here but others are still trying to pull us behind," said Orengo.

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