Thursday, March 18, 2010


The Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka Thursday met a group of religious leaders and exchanged views on the draft constitution and other national matters.

The leaders included Bishop Philip Sulumeti, Vice Chair of the Kenya Episcopal Conference of the Catholic Church, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Head of Anglican Churches of Kenya, Rev. Canon Peter Karanja, Secretary General, NCCK, Rt. Rev. David Gathanju, the P.C.E.A. Moderator and the Head of Methodist Church, Bishop Stephen Kanyaru among others.

They church leaders reiterated their position on abortion and emphasized that life begins at conception and any contrary position in the draft should be amended before being taken to referendum.

The Vice President called on the religious leaders and all Kenyans to support the realization of a new constitution noting that the review process has reached a critical stage where the goodwill of all was necessary to enable the country get a new constitutional dispensation.

Justice Minister, Mutula Kilonzo was in attendance and several MPs.

The meeting comes a day after a consensus building retreat on the proposed Constitution got off to a rocky start with the Party of National Unity (PNU) and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) stating their hard-line positions on the contentious issues.

In a hurriedly convened press conference shortly after the retreat opened on Wednesday ODM demanded a 3 tier system of devolution as originally proposed in harmonized draft constitution instead of the current two levels.

Party chairman Henry Kosgey further said his party would defend a powerful Senate to provide checks and balances to the executive and accused ODM of hypocrisy.

Party legal affairs secretary George Nyamweya said PNU had their cards on the table before the retreat. PNU is pushing for amendments to clauses on vetting of judges and the reduction of the powers of the senate among other things.

The retreat entered day two Thursday and MPs are expected to tackle, clause by clause, the contents of the draft in a bid to build consensus before debate begins in Parliament next week.

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