Monday, December 27, 2010

The Cameroon supports President Gbagbo

Published in the Rue 89 | Monday, December 27, 2010

In the streets of Yaounde, the debates rage between those who denounce the `foreign interference in Ivorian elections and those who criticize the forcing of Laurent Gbagbo. In October 2011, Cameroonians will elect their President `s. This December 21, 2010, Cameroonians have not won `n of their screen. All followed the debate on post-election crisis in Cote d `Ivoire organized by the first private television station in Yaounde, Canal 2 International. Since the face-to-face televised history of 25 November between Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara, the political situation in Cote d `Ivoire is followed closely by brother country. The Cameroon is taking up the cause of Laurent Gbagbo.

Jean-Claude Awono, writer, explains: "This is happening TODAY in Ivory Coast as Africans interested in all this is happening to our brothers there might as well happen in Cameroon. But beyond this explanation, it `is the crystallization of mainly nationalist and pan-Africanist sentiment that mobilizes the masses. Jean-Michel Nintcheu, MP at the Social Democratic Front (SDF), the main opposition party `s" Street Cameroon, which mostly seems to support Mr. Gbagbo, isn `t basically pro-Gbagbo, but anti-French. "The first case involved in the Ivorian` s `are also good party` s opposition in Cameroon. Thus, the African Movement for New Independence and Democracy (MANIDEM) plans a march in the coming days to support Laurent Gbagbo. Similarly, the Union of peoples of Cameroon has taken up the cause of Ivorian President outgoing. On 4 December, the party sent a letter of congratulations for his "brilliant victory which is the crown of a struggle of the Ivorian people." But within the SDF, the Ivorian situation is making waves. While the party has officially recognized the victory of President Gbagbo, Jean-Michel Nintcheu argues that "African Presidents Paul Biya [President of Cameroon, ed] in mind, would benefit from learning the culture of the alternator. "Radio and TV multiply emissions.

Street and the media `s not beyond the` fad. Coup d `State` s electoral coup against constitutional government, "as The Messenger," Trading Places ", said the newspaper Mutations," The Ivorian crisis shakes the SDF, "we read in La Nouvelle Expression, or" All the agreements that have gutted the power of Laurent Gbagbo, "according to the newspaper Emergence. While radio and television stations multiply interactive programs. Between those who see `s attitude of the international community an interference which is aimed only to` remove Gbagbo from power, and others who think it is a bad loser, mobilization of Cameroonians is felt even in the streets.

As before a newsstand in the Cameroonian capital, Tuesday, December 21, which fuse a particularly vigorous exchange between two clients: "You accuse white people want to hunt Gbagbo. Tell me if they are the ones who voted for Ouattara. - It's not the whites who voted but tell me where Ouattara has found the silver to complete his entire campaign and why the French media support it that way. " Celine, a student: "Laurent Gbagbo has publicly agreed to abide by the verdict of the polls. It must not stand TODAY the nationalist card because he has lost. " But for his comrade Eric: "The international community must respect the Ivorian institutions. It `s the Constitutional Council announces the final results. And this institution has declared Gbagbo the victor. We must respect this result. " As tension mounts in Abidjan, the streets of Yaounde `s inflame the situation in countries of the Elephants ...

Rawlings calls for a peaceful approach to the Ivorian crisis

| Monday, December 27, 2010

rawlings.jpg (320×240)Former President Jerry John Rawlings has reiterated its call for an extreme restraint in the management of he crisis in Cote d 'Ivoire. In a message released Thursday, three days after he called for restraint and aturity on the part of all actors in the crisis, President Rawlings said the situation in Ivory Coast was not a imple electoral conflict, but a tangle of ethnic and political complexities that must be handled with tact and iplomacy rather than by open allusions to the use of force.

The former president said that the disputed results clearly indicate that the Ivory Coast is sharply divided on ethnic lines, a fact which should be concerned stakeholders such as ECOWAS, the AU and the UN at the time, they exploring options to resolve the impasse. "The two men at the center of the conflict have indicated their willingness to accept a recount or re-verification of results by neutral observers. Is there a hidden reason for not wanting to accept the offer made by both parties? "It is also important that we do not rush into any kind of intervention force. This does not guarantee a final resolution of the crisis and may actually exacerbate an already volatile situation that could result in a complete civil war with disastrous effects on the populations of entire sub-region.

"Attempts to gather support for military intervention were unfounded and instead expose the hypocrisy of the UN, ECOWAS and the AU. "The most outrageous election results took place without intervention. How can we justify an intervention in this case, when the results are so tight and divided along ethnic lines? Let us explore all options available to peace rather than military intervention, which can not reach a peaceful political transition in Côte d'Ivoire. "The situation is certainly an embarrassment to Africa, but equally disturbing is the fact that international media have chosen to overlook many things.

Reports of some major election observers condemned the conduct of elections in several parts of the country have been totally ignored by the international media. "In some regions the number of votes cast is greater than the total number of voters. In one region, there are 159,788 votes to 48,400 votes. This, added to the fact that in some areas, the staff of the electoral commission and some election officials were not allowed to control the process, calls for a proper investigation is urgently conducted. "There are so many crucial questions unanswered. The details of the report of the envoy of the African Union, President Thabo Mbeki, should be made public to help better understand the nature of the situation. "It is also imperative that ECOWAS convened an emergency meeting to urge both sides to the center of the crisis as well as representatives of all the observer missions that have covered the election to present their case. This has been done in the past and this will move us a big step in finding the solution. "We must act with care for the good of the people of Ivory Coast who are the real victims of this tragedy. I urge ECOWAS and other international institutions involved in the crisis to analyze the situation with the utmost attention and do everything in their power to resolve in a peaceful manner, "said President Rawlings

France And The Ivory Coast-The Empire Strikes Back

Currently there is an impasse in the runoff of the Presidential elections in the Ivory Coast. The French-linked and funded electoral commission declared that Allasane Outtara won the election while the Constitutional Court declared incumbent President Gbagbo as the victor.

The ‘international community’ of Western countries, NGOS, UN appeasers, and a variety of Francafrique cowards and bed-wetters support Ouattara even though massive fraud has been demonstrated at the polls in the rebel-held North.

This result should be no surprise to anyone. There has been no effective disarmament of the tinpot rebel warlords of the North and no unification of the country in anticipation of the election. A ‘security’ dividing line between the North and the South has been maintained by the occupying French forces pretending to be U.N. troops. Even so-called peacemakers like Blaise Campaore of Burkina Faso pretend to be neutral. Campaore, an unindicted war criminal with a track record of subversion, arms smuggling and war profiteering in Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Ivory Cost is somehow portrayed as a neutral.

When arms were being shipped to the West African wars by Chirac and Ghadaffi they arrived at their destinations after having passed through the hands of Campaore and Tandja (who both profited on the deliveries), Ouattara, known as the “Father of the Rebellion” in the Ivory Coast was sustained by operating from a safe haven in Burkina Faso when he was not busy maintaining his close personal ties to Sarkozy’s first wife in Paris. There was no mystery about the Ouattara-Campaore joint effort. Several hours of tapes exist which recorded the meetings called by Campaore in Burkina Faso which garnered support for Ouattara among the Northerners and actively plotted with two French military officers sent from Paris to attempt coups against the Gbagbo Government.

Voter fraud and deception was the rule in the North for over seven years. Even when the AU originally appointed Banny as the interim Prime minister ad Thabo Mbeki as the mediator the frauds persisted. President Mbeki visited the Ivory Coast and invited the warring factions to meet with President Gbagbo in Pretoria where two sets of agreements were made. These Pretoria Agreements achieved a resolution of most of the outstanding issues between the two sides, because President Gbagbo made concessions to achieve these ends. The most important point made in Pretoria was that there would be disarmament of the rebels.

This was, indeed, a requisite of the original cease-fire agreement at Linas-Marcoussis , Article 3 (g) “In order to contribute to restoring security of persons and property throughout the national territory, the Government of National Reconciliation will organise the regrouping and subsequent disarming of all forces. It will ensure that no mercenaries remain within the country’s borders.”

Some links showing the protests:

Thank you

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Is Ivory Coast becoming Frances’ ‘Iraq’?

In the run up to Iraqi invasion US manipulated the UN organs, mobilized her allies into join her quest to attack Iraq and institute regime change. Few nations saw through this ploy or had the courage to register effective protestation. This was in the name of Iraqis and human rights and danger posed to the world. To day we know better! But we are on the precipice of falling into a similar situation Africa with France pulling the UN. Will Côte d'Ivoire fall victim to this syndrome: where for Iraqi oil, lies and conspiracies of "international community" were handy to oust Saddam Hussein? Will the UN again, on behalf of geo-strategy, cover genocide or conceal greed in Côte d'Ivoire?

The UN Security council resolution of 9th Dec 2010 backed Alassane Ouattara as the winner of Ivory Coast’s disputed Nov. 28 presidential election, bolstering his challenge to incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and besides condemning the position taken by the Gbagbo, the council also said it would impose “targeted measures” against those standing in the way of the peace process or UN efforts in Ivory Coast. Russia took a very clear position on the condemnation of Ivory Coast. The absence of presidential statement in New York, as Susan Rice, who currently chairs the Security Council for the USA, which had been expected was loud. Russia allowed the release of this press communiqué, on principle, but did not agree and maintained her stance regarding the sovereignty of Côte d’Ivoire – saying that the Unites Nations are not commissioned to state results of presidential elections of a sovereign country. The Chinese government also released a communiqué saying that the law has to prevail, institutions should be respected and that the political dialog should take place.

The media though is awash with the notion that the whole world has isolated Gbagbo’s government, yet divergent views like that of China, Russia and even South Africa and also Angola, and Libya are not being heard for not chorusing the ECOWAS’ nor the African Union’s opinion…The media buzz: to make people believe, via the media, that President Gbagbo is isolated has failed to cause a revolt in the country . There was a general expectation that the population will pour into the streets, demanding that Laurent Gbagbo step down that he had lost according to the provisionary results. On the contrary most of the people in the south divide of the country voiced support for Gbagbo vowing to die to the last man should the country be attacked. The street demonstrations are needed to raise the temperature which saw the calls to match at take over the Ivorian national Radio and Television Station headquarters. This met a rock hard response from Ivorian forces and has now led to rearming of supporters of Mr. Alassane Ouattara, whom the international community overwhelmingly recognises as the legitimate president.

The question that begs an answer is this; Why UN and US through the French forces are arming the rebels? The reason for Gbagbo to order UN and French forces to leave the country was precisely this. According to the Ivorian government sources foreign dispatch, No. 0026 of 21/12/10, "the U.S. government brought in mercenaries in Bouake, via Algiers through Ouagadougou with sophisticated equipment for endangering the lives of legal authorities "of Côte d'Ivoire. UN forces have been reported on RTI giving catches to rebels.

How will the UN achieve its goals if it undermines the very principles of its mission? Might it be the problem of global governance? Where permanent member states of the Security Council, with very important responsibilities, to bring back peace in the world would, on the contrary use the United Nations for their own benefit and serve their agendas. The start of the Côte d’Ivoire crisis in 2002 coincided with the challenge of Iraq. The United Nations was tasked with solving the problem in Côte d’Ivoire and instead of bringing peace in Côte d’Ivoire, France, following the Marcoussis Agreemments, had the Agreement endorsed by the United Nations and has continuously attempted to eject President Gbagbo instead of solving the problem of peace and reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire.

The United Nation, through France and the United-States, applied pressure for these elections saying that President Gbagbo does not wish to hold them. It was France the author of the Côte d’Ivoire resolution project that would not yield to President Gbagbo objection, that elections be held after the disarmament of the North and the reunification. The Ouagadougou Agreements (APO) pointed out that Ivoirians be mobilized by the help of President Compaoré and that: the elections were to be held two month after the disarmament and reunification.

Why would they ignore the institutions that Cote d’Ivoire has established leave alone her sovereignty? It will not be easy to just remove Gbagbo from power without shedding blood. Who should be responsible for plunging Ivoirians to blood bath? We must expose stand against the bias shown in this case if by it the crisis in Ivory coast could be solved.

Canon Francis Omondi

Anglican Church of Kenya.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cheap cross

Cheap cross, cheap cross! Buy now …

It was towards the end of Thursday during the passion week and here a man was selling his last stock of palm crosses to the faithful Christians, with time running out and the stock still high , the man chose to drop the price, oblivious that that very evening the church and Christians were remembering how high the price of their salvation was and now they are called to follow in the foot steps of others who faced rejection and were ostracized and lived like aliens in the world in hope of life in the world to come. Through this, world was has had Christ proclaimed in all the world.

Even though our stand on human sexuality is well documented and clearly articulated we have not escaped the tag of being ‘the church that condones homosexuality’ a fact that has soiled us on both fronts: in the world wide communion [where we opposed it] and locally [where we are tagged to it].One can be forgiven to think that the real occupation of the Anglican Church has been the issue of human sexuality in general and homosexual …specifically owing to the frequency with which we have held discussion, the passion with which we have defended our position, the influence and weight with which we have tried to convince on our position and now it has billed that the final schism of the communion will spring from here.

To this day the official Anglican position on Sexuality is the Lambeth Resolution 10.1: Of all the four themes put forward at Lambeth 1998 the question of human sexuality emerged top and of the 63 page resolution[1] none has been quoted and discussed like this, to the extent that the Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan singled this as the main problem. He reasoned that:
“The ordination of a practicing homosexual as a Bishop in the USA and the blessing of same sex relationships in Canada might not have had the repercussions they have had, if the Lambeth Conference in 1998 had not had such an acrimonious debate about sexuality.”

This position can obscure the implications these two acts had on our understanding and practice of missions.

One of the most telling parts of the 1998 Lambeth sexuality debate was during discussion of the amendment (Resolution V.35) proposed from the West Africa Region which stated ‘homosexuality is a sin which could only be adopted by the church if it wanted to commit evangelical suicide’. In response, Bishop Roskam of New York said, ‘If affirming homosexuality is evangelical suicide in [Africa], to condemn it is evangelical suicide in my region.’

What was clear in this exchange was the difference in understanding of missions and evangelism and how we practice in different contexts in the communion and therefore create different meaning to either.

The debate here will be lost if we begin and carry this argument in cultures, unless sufficient bridges are erected to enable us cross the gulfs of cultural assumptions. Besides, this [culture] is not good enough too to determine the gospel content, rather than how we ought to communicate. Being diverse, cultures often polarize our perspective and understanding of issues. I must hasten to add that we cannot ignore cultures either since God did not shout from the blear blue sky a culture free message, his word was revealed in cultures and we are reading it in different cultures today, calling on all of us to study and correctly interpret the message of scriptures.

Our argument on missions therefore, must begin with Christ whose mission we are an extension of, and on whose behalf we are called to carry it out.

We may not know what is in the mind of our Lord, but that the scriptures tell us of this we are able through the revealed word chart our direction.

His words lend us what he thought on mission: ‘As the Father send me so send I you… (john 20:21)’ gives the contours of how we must understand and practice mission in the pattern he himself was sent.

As he was in the world –to proclaim the love and judgment of the father to a sinful world, lost and rebellious creation, to heal, care and give his life in holy and consecrated service for the sake of the Father’s love- so we are sent by him. We too, if we are willing to do God’s will, will know what he requires of us. As a famous Ghanaian theologian says, we may not claim him and at the same time make his meaning and example obscure. The problem will show up when we too want to please our selves at the same time please him, while really unwilling to surrender our selves and wills, our so called personal freedoms, to him.

I suggest that we turn to scriptures to settle this, since this would be the surest way to know what is in the mind of our Lord I have chosen these three passages to help us in the study missions in Christ way.., and to help me in this I seek to use three passages talking on Missions.

. Mathew 28:18-20 this is a well known passage often known as the Great Commission, here our Lord laying on the apostles the task of discipling the nations. The task is discipling of things that make people into nations or communities. The shared processes of thinking, shared and common attitudes, world-views, perspectives, languages cultural habits of thoughts, social and political behavior and economic practices- all those things and the lives of the people in whom those things find expressions are meant to be with the call to discipleship. This implies that the great commission is not about numbers, nor about statistics, important as those are, nor about percentages of national populations that confess the Christian faith, valuable as those are. The Great commission is about conversion, the conversion of things that make people into nations, in effect the conversions of cultures. And conversion is not the overlay upon the old habits, attitudes and rebellious wills, of some regulations, requirements and solutions that do not answer to these realities. Rather, conversion is turning to Christ all that we are and bring all that we are into discipleship to him.

The second text is Acts 2:5-12, which describes the events of the Day of Pentecost. This l take to be the launch of the process of discipling of the nations that is laid out in Mathew 28. Pentecost in Acts was the counter to Babel in Genesis 11. Babel symbolizes the separation and parting among the nations and peoples, entrenchment of differences into virtual hostility. Genesis 11:4 indicates the abuse of a global language and a global culture in the goal of making a name for oneself, seeking a global reach and therefore, hegemony and world dominion, rather than seeking the glory of God.

Pentecost on the contrary is where the reconciliation of the nations is achieved and that only in Christ and for Christ. This is actualized through the Holy Spirit and leading to the glory of God.

how amazing that we all hear in our own languages the great things God has done’ (Acts 2:11). Pentecost was not the dissolution of cultural diversities, rather it was the divine demonstration that different cultures can and do have one and the same Lord and savior and therefore are under same discipleship. For the part of the miracle of the Holy Spirit was enhanced communication among crowds of people who spoke different languages. God who has no linguistic favorites determined that this purpose should be achieved through different languages. Pentecost is thus the demonstration that the Gospel is about all of us, speaks to all of us, summoning us all to repentance and faith; that the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ is and can become Father to us all. And therefore we do ourselves incalculable harm if we should willfully refuse to heed to what God says, speaking our language.

The third text is Revelation 7:9-12, describing the crowd that no one could number, drawn from every race, tribe, nation, and language, and singing the same song, in their different languages. Mathew laid out the true dimensions of missions, and Acts launched the process of missions, then Revelation 7 shows the end and the goal of mission. For here in the light of the end of all things, mission is not about the salvation of only part of our human existence but much more. The goal of all missions is our total redemption, the cleansing of all our social and cultural forms of life and expression so that they come to express praise, adoration and our total consecration to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Here then is the true end of discipling of the nations.

Mission seen from this light or point of view, as deep mission, is clearly more demanding than we may perhaps assume and it calls for resources far beyond what we tend to allow for in our normal priorities. Mission requires commitment and levels of sacrifices in time, disciplined spirituality, intellectual vocation, and often long term engagement with persons and communities .- levels of sacrifice and discipline that few of us probably are prepared or willing to make. Yet the truth remains: can we be engaged meaningfully in the discipling of nations unless we are also, like the first apostles, disciples of our Lord?

The passion of the debate over human sexuality is rooted in a common desire for service to God’s mission according to the authors of True Union in the Body?

We need to note at the very beginning of that work:

The call to bless same-sex unions arises because some (mainly in the West) believe this is an appropriate and loving response to people who seek the Church’s support, and so should be an important feature of the Church’s pastoral practice and a vital part of the Church’s contemporary mission. Many, however, see it as a major challenge to the Church’s identity, potentially overturning her traditional understanding of scriptural teaching about human sexuality and faithful Christian discipleship. Especially in the non-West there is the added fear that it effectively undermines the Church s mission in their context and denies the gospel.

Ian T. Douglas and Michael Poon

Our context:

Islam sees this as an outright sin:

Human beings are capable of many forms of sexual expression, orientation and identification. The existence of such a variety again is not found in any other species and thus further demonstrates our uniqueness among God's creations. The potential for behavior, such as homosexuality, does not mean that its practice is lawful in the eyes of God. Therefore, individuals are expected to control themselves and not act on their desires if such action is contrary to the guidelines of Islam. Homosexuality, like other forms of sexual relations outside of heterosexual marriage, is thus prohibited. In any discussion of prohibited acts follows the question of what happens if they nevertheless occur. The Qur'an and hadith are explicit regarding severe punishment by the State if a person is convicted of such a crime. However, in order for conviction to take place, the individuals must confess or be accused by at least four eyewitnesses of the act of actual intercourse. Obviously, the likelihood of these criteria being met is small which means that most couples who engage in unlawful acts will not be punished by the State. They will then deal with the consequences of their behavior in this life and will be accountable to God on the Day of Judgment. How He ultimately judges is known only by Him. [ 1996, Muslim Public Affairs Council]

Our African community sees this as anathema we are left with no where to turn.

Eg. the treatment of those who support gay movement here has been inhumane and appalling. Even though there are no laws enacted against them the atmosphere is so charged against them actively practicing.


Where does the missionary get his authority to preach; from the Gospel which is the scriptures [ OT. pointing to Jesus Luke 24, and the accounts of the gospel telling of his works and words , and the NT acc. Also affirming the witness of those who believed

In the New Testament the teaching of Jesus as a whole is about caring for the outcast as a test of righteousness and in his own ministry he dealt with those on the margins.

There is a bias in the New Testament to inclusivity and those who have been excluded by others because of their sex, race, health or religion. Jesus’ inclusive community consisted of women, children and those outside the cultic regulations - Gentiles. His ministry was one of hospitality and generosity to all whom he met.

It could be argued that gay and lesbian people are the marginalized people of our age, because according to the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement many refuse to attend any place of worship because they feel they are not accepted and welcomed.

Ecusa’s report to the Anglican Consultative Council at Nottingham in 2005 spoke of gay people being portrayed as perverted, promiscuous, sinful and untouchable by many Christians. Gay people have been personally rejected, socially ostracized, subjected to intense discrimination, violence and even death. They have seen the rejection of their sexuality as a rejection of them as persons. (American Report ‘To Set our Hope on Christ’ p28).

The source of this thinking is in the teaching that Gentiles, regarded as impure and second-class as compared to Jews according to the Holiness Code, is put aside in favor of the view of a God who accepts impure people. In other words the ritual and purity laws of the Old Testament are seen as purely temporary and cultural and are set aside. Christianity becomes an inclusive community welcoming those not normally welcomed into the household of faith.

The Cornelius story as those regarded as unclean accepted, has been pushed as a model for accepting the gay people for God accepts them for who they are.

Christ invitation was into His Kingdom and being born again the shift and transformation of life was key for entry he accepts Nicodemus but lays condition for entry by water and blood. And when one is in the Kingdom it is seen and known by their fruit of new lifestyle.

Even though Abp. Rowan William at Nottingham, there is no sign by which you can tell in and of yourself that you are acceptable to God. There is nothing about you that guarantees love, salvation, healing. But there is everything about God in Jesus Christ that assures you and so if you want to know where your certainty lies, look to God, not to yourself”

It is Paul in Galatians and several others that bring the moral teaching of life in the Spirit

The Kenyan thinking is that there is need to embrace Homosexuals but help them enter the kingdom of the transformed where they are not the center around which the scriptures are to be interpreted and church be formed [deifying love for HS] but we both face God to be made more like him Christ is the basis of our ethics and morality.

Our in ability to invite them in will reflect also on our in-ability to love and welcome those of other faith.


We are at a junction of Christian History:

A great body of disciples is emerging in the South America and Africa. It may be for them to show the way for human kind as they walk fully in the yoke with Jesus. But they will never do this or even solve the problems of their peoples, if they take the spiritual attainments of the Western church as the height of Christian possibility. In the first world countries Christianity simply do not advance very far into the health and strength of Christ. Psychological counselors frequently find little difference between the basic attitudes, actions and afflictions of their unbelieving clients and the believers with whom they deal. …Dallas Willard in The spirit of the disciplines – understanding how God changes lives [ san Francisco: HarperCollins, 1988, rep. 1991]

Rev. Francis Omondi

Anglican Church of Kenya

1. [1] “It commends to the Church the sub-section report on human sexuality;

2. In view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage;

3. Recognizes that there are among us persons who experience themselves as having a homosexual orientation. Many of these are members of the Church and are seeking the pastoral care, moral direction of the Church, and God’s transforming power for the living of their lives and the ordering of relationships. We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptized, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ;

4. While rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture, calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialization and commercialization of sex;

5. Cannot advise the legitimizing or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions;

6. Requests the Primates and the ACC to establish a means of monitoring the work done on the subject of human sexuality in the Communion and to share statements and resources among us;

Thursday, August 26, 2010

prayers for Kenya

“Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech you that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of your favor and glad to do your will.

Oh God of our ancestors, we invoke Your blessing upon our new republic, embrace our nation in your arms as you did in it’s infancy.

We ask for your blessings upon the government and leaders of our nation, and on all who exercise rightful authority in our community. Instruct them out of Your law, that they may administer all affairs of state in justice and equity. Guide and foster leaders Of integrity and righteousness With the vision and courage Of our forefathers.

Unite the inhabitants of our country, of all backgrounds, persuasions and creeds, into a bond of true kinship, to banish hatred and bigotry, and to safeguard our ideals and institutions of freedom. Grant that all men will find the freedom and happiness that exists only through Your grace.

May this land under Your Providence be an influence for good throughout the world, uniting all people in peace and freedom, and helping to fulfill the vision of Your prophets:

“Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war any more.”

“For all people, both great and small,
Shall know the Lord.”

May peace and security, happiness and prosperity, right and freedom always abide among us, guarding us from war, from fire and wind, from compromise, fear, confusion.

In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in you to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Rev. Francis Omondi,
Anglican Church Of Kenya

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why I support the Proposed Constitution of Kenya

The 1897 order in council opened the application of common law in Kenya. it stipulated that in addition to the statutes made by the colonial administration, the common law of England, equity and statutes of general application would apply in what is now Kenya subject to the local conditions and the customs of the people.

The consequences of this were deep and continue to affect us to this very day. It created and concentrated power in a Center – colonial master, whose purpose was to exploit the resources in the colony for the west. Laws and policies were made to make this possible as a result Africans were striped of their only source of livelihood. Land was legally confiscated; people were striped of their dignity and virtually turned into tools to service this purpose. Institutions were created in line with this general goal thus both the Judiciary and police, the legislature and general administration which divided the country on tribal lines proved very effective.

At independence there was great aspiration that a change will benefit Kenyans. What we got was a reversal of roles rather than the order. We got coconuts – black on the outside but white on the inside, which mastered the system and continued exploitation of the country at the expense of the Kenyans. Inequalities got to the apex, power became a necessity to maintain the status quo. Poverty and corruptions became the hallmark of our society triggering a move from many on the on the margins to fight to be included also.

In the PCK I see an attempt to dismantle this unjust machinery to set a new order;

  1. Fragment power and spread it to the margins, this goes with legal mechanism to share these resources away from the center.
  2. It also brings those previously pushed to the periphery into the center with a voice and their interest attended to.

The PCK does this in three main ways;

a. Governance is restructured

Clear distinction in made between the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary and power is thus vested in all these institution to serve the people of Kenya.

Creation of County governments and the Senate further spread power to the grassroots enabled to check and advise the national government with the local interests in view.

b. Popular representation not only in numbers but texture. This way it has invited those on the outside IN. Communities are given visibility and space to participate, women’s participation has been guarded and their voice will now be present.

c. The dignity of Kenyans has been made central as indicted in the purpose for the document, the declaration of the sovereignty of the people of Kenya and to a greater extent the BILL of RIGHTS. These in my opinion will ensure equal opportunities for Kenyans through out the country and at all times.

As a Christian leader living in a society that holds social ethics incoherent in some ways to ours, I obliged to discern ways to engage in this society and therein be salt and light. It begs me two questions to resolve this:

  1. Should we impose our social ethics in the Society we live in and ignore the position of those we share the society with despite their faith? One must be reminded that the grounds for which it is demanded of us to live in this Christian way, is because we have received Grace. Should we criminalize sin? Rather should not our quest be how to influence our society be through undermining its values to the extent that they are aligned to ours. Our primary concern should be how we live out our social ethics in this society. Our demand of the constitution therefore should be latitude to live out our ethics, put differently does the constitution give us space to practice and influence our society as stranger-insider?
  2. The ends we seek that will determine the nature of laws the country will have. To guide us here we ought to pose these two questions;

i. What should we do? This will ask of us and the society questions of rules and therefore actions leading us to prescribe laws that all should adhere to and the does and don’ts. We would need to enforce the rules through punishment and coercion. We risk ‘talibanising’ our country and taking away peoples right of conscience.

ii. Should we rather ask; who should we be? In a multi-faith context asking these questions we will be seeking our foothold among competing values. This should lead us to question about Character, inviting us to live out our values and norms intentionally in the society with the purpose of inviting those outside the kingdom in through persuasion.

The context of writing this constitution should inform our current discussions. We are between post election violence that crippled this nation and a potentially explosive conflict if we do not urgently address the things that created the conflict in the first instance. We must coin ways of addressing issues of governance, dignity through rights of the people of Kenya and representation i.e. inclusiveness of all who have been out.

I am satisfied that these hotspots have been adequately addressed in the PNC and would highly recommend its enactment!

If NO vote won!

We shall have lost a chance to restructure our governance framework. The 2008 act which entrenched peace accord and created instruments for changes did not envisage the rejection of the constitution by the people. The CoE’s role ended when they gave the proposed constitution, both the IIEC and the IIBC and TJRC mandates expire in December. There will be need to set up new vehicles to address the constitution rewriting so as to address the contentions and conduct referendum.

The choice we have to make is between the current constitution and the PNC, not the one we probably wish to have! The aftermath of 2005 should be instructive, for if we loose political goodwill to carry out the changes we hoped for it will be a huge struggle to gain it, the political class in whose favor the present constitution leans would want to continue.

The impact of the failure to pass the constitution will precipitate an unprecedented competition and the ensuring conflicts may be greater than we have ever known.

We may never succeed in time for a general election which we will have to go to with the old constitution without an electoral commission in place already.

The possibility that there will be introduction of vertical and horizontal Checks and Balances especially with the entrenchment of key constitutional commissions to give Kenyans value for money and check impunity and facilitate a new culture of governance under a more clean, lean, effective, accountable and responsive government because the sanctions for violations of the rules shall be severe will have been wasted.

The church shall have proved the point that she is a Key player in the politics of the nations and you ignore them at your own peril.

Will the church now have the capacity to push for a new process of the redrafting the constitution? I am sure that groups that suppressed their preferences to allow for a new constitution will find a window to reintroduce their demands. With the political will gone the assumption will be that are fine with the current arrangement, we should not rule out revenge and opposition of the whole process for the same reasons some opposed this one…not to mention those wanting to maintain the status quo.

The church will find it difficult to erase the perception of an accomplice in the No platform with suspects of historical justice and those who ruined this country during their rule. Being on the one side with the church has emboldened them forgetting their contribution to oppression and impoverishment of Kenyans. How will the church face those for whom she fought for? The rejection of the katiba will delay addressing issues of justice for the IDPs due to PEV, in fact we may be prepared to receive more IDPs since we will have no structures and means to redress causes of political conflicts.The preoccupation with the wrongs in the constitution has silenced the churches voice of affirming the positives in articulating issues of justice.

During this process of Katiba the church has made ‘enemies’ with many communities and bridges that existed in relations seems to be in disrepair. It will be hard to reach out to Muslims for the apparent hostility over the Kadhi’s court issue and political class who supported the PNC. The church will have lost an allay in the interreligious forum to press for social reforms on the ills that we all condemn in the society.

Should Yes win:

The country will be rejuvenated in hope for changes of what is past and painful. Hope will create a new sensation that should be built on to create a new country. This will give the impetus for creating and managing institutions that will implement these changes. The Separation of Powers between the Judiciary, the legislature and the executive shall ensure that rights are protected, justice delivered, opportunities and security enhanced for all Kenyans.

The expanded Bill of rights shall finally secure the principle of the Indivisibility and inalienability of rights and freedoms. Kenyans now have the basis of building a democracy where the dignity of every citizen shall be the center piece of government policy. This shall fundamentally alter the basis of state policy and budgeting in Kenya and it shall greatly deal with inequalities that exist in Kenya today.

Popular Participation shall be secured with the enhanced platforms of peoples participation in governance including stronger political parties, better representation of the people and the avenues of legislation.

The church will have Credibility crisis:

Church leaders have been the bulwark of strength against oppressive regimes over the years. They stood for equality, justice and sought to end corruption and inequalities in this country. All these were rooted in her prophetic call. The society and its leaders will have little respect for Church leaders for their opposition to the draft and this rift unless bridged at some point will render the Church voice less there for blunting her knave to be salt and light in our society.

The church will face a theological crisis:

The church has made unambiguous position on the constitutional issues of sexuality and family, Kadhi’s courts and abortion. It is a clear ideal but it is remote from the way Christians believe. Since a vast numbers of Christians will have supported the constitution with the provisions deemed against the position of the church. There will be an abyss between what the church teaches and the way many members of the church live. When it comes the constitution and aspiration for justice most Christians do not behave different from others in society. How is the church to respond to this? One approach is strongly to insist on the teaching. If we do this we are in danger of becoming increasingly out of touch with the lives of so many members of our Church. The Church might become a narrow sect whose ethics isolates it and inhibits it from sharing the gospel with others. Already many Christians cling to membership of the church by ignoring the church’s teaching on social justice and sexuality which undermines the church’s authority in other areas. If one can disregard what the church says about constitution, then why not about everything else. Others remain in the church but feel either burdened with guilt or feel second class citizens, excluded from communion because they are in “irregular situation”.

If the church simply accepts modern mores, then the dangers are just as serious. We would appear to be assimilating ourselves weakly to the modern world, lacking the guts to stand for what we believe. If the church’s teaching is true, then surely we must proclaim it. Often what happens in practice is that the official teaching is asserted perhaps “sotto voce” and subtle hints are given that everyone is really welcome. This is called the pastoral solution. Maybe it is the most humane way but it may look like dishonesty and cowardice.

The Church leaders must join their other colleagues to support the PNC before voting on the account of the gains and the promise it offers the country but set up mechanisms to address the valid moral issues it raised during and before this vote. This may be the only way to weave the differences growing out of not understanding each other and build a society where everyone has space to exist.

Rev. Canon Francis Omondi

Anglican Church of Kenya