- The Kenyan political factions in the coalition government have agreed to have the church play a central mediatory role in the government’s implementation of its return to democracy programme.
This follows the first meeting today, where representatives drawn from Kenyan Churches met and held a first round of consultations with leaders of the Grand Coalition Government led by President Mwai Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the Vice President Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka.
Local media reports said the meeting focused on the proposed constitution and the referendum scheduled for later this year.
Reports also said the parties agreed to work through a smaller committee of representatives from both the government and the churches, with the next meeting for consultations already set for next week.
Kenyan church leaders have recently raised concerns on the country’s unity and reform agenda, calling of the political leadership to make fresh commitments.
The coalition government of Kenya, established following the post 2007 election violence, that left 1500 people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced, has been under severe strain lately, especially with the International Criminal Court (ICC) announcing the taking over of the prosecution of the violence perpetrators.
A list of 20 prominent political and social personalities was handed over by the ICC’s Chief prosecutor to the judges of the court. It is believed that once the list goes public, it might spark new tensions that would definitely crack further, the already weak coalition government.
Today's meeting further agreed on the need for the Church and State to engage in further dialogue with a view to achieving consensus and establish a way forward on the contentious issues raised by the Church leaders.
The meeting committed to ensuring that the nation remains united during the entire constitutional review process until a new document is attained.
Both the Church leader's and the grand coalition government agreed on the need to drive ahead the country's reform agenda to enable the country focus on other challenges it currently faces, local media reports said.
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