Clergy: Dialogue must guide the referendum debate

As the country gears up towards a constitutional review, the clergy is warning the political class against a divisive referendum.

Bishop Philip Anyolo, who spoke on Saturday during the ordination of Kitui Bishop Joseph Mwongela, said amendments in the constitution must be for the common good of all Kenyans.

“A divisive referendum like the one witnessed in 2005 and 2010 must be avoided at all costs.” He said

Anyolo, however, cautioned against the cost implications involved in carrying out a referendum urging Kenyans not to allow a referendum that will further oppress the country economically.

“A referendum can be expensive and maybe wasteful while we still have unmet social-economic development needs of our people. We will be hesitant to legitimize a process that will further hurt the people.” Anyolo stated

Additionally, the Bishop urged Kenyans to support constitutional amendments that are solid and transparent.

“A constitution outlives its makers and any proposed amendments meant to benefit a few highly placed individuals must be rejected,” he said

At the same time, Anyolo raised concern over the ongoing political realignments in the country towards the 2022 general elections saying such should not instill fear among Kenyans.

“Political leaders must take responsibility to ensure political realignments do not become an excuse to put people to the risk of political violence we are used to experiencing every political year.” He stated

During the event, Bishop Joseph Mwongela was installed as the fourth Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kitui.

Bishop Mwongela took over from Archbishop Antony Muheria, who had been serving as an apostolic administrator of Kitui since April 2017.


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