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PEFA church faults the BBI on gender but welcomes Prime Minister

By Mathew Ndungu
Thursday, November 19th, 2020
The church bishops led by their chairperson Bishop John Okinda address journalists in Juja
In summary
    • The Pefa church noted that Kenyan women have not been adequately addressed on their constitutional right on the two-thirds gender rule despite the expansion of the National Assembly by 70 members.

The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) has failed to address the constitutional requirement that orders that neither gender should have more than two-thirds in elective positions, the Pentecostal Evangelistic Fellowship of Africa (PEFA) church has said.

The Pefa church noted that Kenyan women have not been adequately addressed on their constitutional right on the two-thirds gender rule despite the expansion of the National Assembly by 70 members.

“The provisions, therefore, require further considerations and consultations to resolve this,” he said.

Additionally, Okinda noted that the proposal in the BBI to abolish the National Police Service Commission and replace it with the Kenya police council headed by the Cabinet Secretary for Interior will compromise and politicize the independence of the police service.

“We strongly recommend retention and strengthening of the National Police Service Commission as opposed to abolitions,” he said.

Okinda further faulted the proposals to establish the Office of the Judiciary Ombudsman saying it will weaken and endanger the judicial path of restoring and administering justice.

Further, the PEFA church took issue with the political parties nominating Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissioner players said that such a move would compromise the situation.

“This is a dangerous trend because IEBC will eventually be controlled by the same political parties and we are wondering why this time, a player is appointing a referee,” remarked Okinda.

The church insisted that the BBI process must inclusive of all issues affecting Kenyans.

“Comprehensive civic education should be undertaken to ensure that all Kenyans are aware of the contents to make informed choices,” added Okinda.

The bishop urged the government to expedite the facilitation of the composition of IEBC commissioners and the electoral laws in preparation for the 2022 General Elections.

The church, however, welcomed the increase in sharable revenue of county governments from 15 percent to 35 percent of the national revenue and the establishment of the Prime Minister and his two deputies.

“Establishment of the leader of opposition position will also allow inclusion of the first presidential runners up who will put the government of the day on check,” he said.

The church thereby urged the government to first expedite constitutional changes that can be amended in parliament to allow for further discussion.

“If we cannot achieve this collectively as a nation, why don’t we wait for a few more months so that we consult far and wide to bring a united nation,” he said.

On the Covid-19 pandemic, the church regretted that the government has channeled its communication on BBI proposals neglecting serious health concerns among Kenyans especially the rising Covid-19 cases.

“Yes, we may have the BBI document but shall we have the people we want to rule, doctors to treat us as we rule. We need to put more concentration on the current pandemic that we have so that we are safe,” bishop Samuel Munai, the deputy presiding bishop of Pefa church Kenya said.

Munai called on the government to channel the Sh14 billion expected to be used in the reform process to medically cover school-going children ahead of full reopening in January, doctors, and other frontline soldiers in the fight against the deadly virus.

Covid-19 patients have been footing their bills for the virus treatment in both public and private hospitals after the Health Ministry said the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is not financially viable to cover their expensive bills.

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