The Centre for Multi-Party Democracy has said it will use two reports touching on land as a campaign tool to counter the 'No' camp.
The group said that it sees land as the major issue that has fuelled opposition to the proposed constitution. They said that issues of abortion and the kadhi courts were being used as a scapegoat by the 'No' team to conceal their intentions.
Quoting the Ndungu Land report, CMD accused Church leaders of being insincere in their opposition of the proposed constitution. The report lists the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi, the Church Commission of Kenya and the Anglican Church as some of the beneficiaries of illegally acquired land.
The document, together with the Akiwumi Report, also names prominent politicians especially in former ruling party Kanu. The reports are yet to be implemented as the beneficiaries of illegal land allocations have continued to fight them.
“This is what the proposed constitution shall address in a fundamental way. Surprisingly, the provisions to address these wrongs are the same provisions that 'No' campaign is opposed to,” CMD said in a statement issued at its offices in Nairobi Wednesday.
Civic education materials
The added that they would use these reports as their civic education materials for “challenging impunity” and encouraging Kenyans to pass the proposed constitution.
The report of the task force into the Mau Forest land allocations says The Little Sisters of Saint Francis of Assisi has 2,956 hectares of land in the forest on which they had built nursery, primary and secondary schools, a polytechnic and a health centre.
Father Vincent Wambugu, the spokesman of the assembly of Catholic bishops, said their opposition is based on issues and questioned the NGOs’ motives in making the allegation.
“This situation is bringing out some very ugly scenarios and personalising matters will not help us even after the referendum. That approach is in itself more sinister than the allegation and character assassination is not proper,” he said.
Canon Peter Karanja of the National Council of Churches of Kenya said the NGOs were approaching matters in the wrong way.
“Making wild allegations will not help in any way. The churches’ position is clear and our issues are well known and beyond the sideshows and diversionary tactics,” he said.
Politicians, largely drawn from the Rift Valley have vigorously opposed the proposed constitution especially its provisions on land while the Church opposes sections on abortion and inclusion of kadhi courts in the document.