NAIROBI FEBRUARY 3, 2015(CISA)) – The Catholic Church in Kenya has called on the government to re-look the proposed Amendments to the Public Benefits Organizations Act 2013 to ensure it fits all stakeholders.
In a press statement by Caritas Kenya and the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC) sent to CISA on January 27, the Church called for dialogue with the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to ensure democratic development.
“The Church is of the opinion that if the amendments proposed come to pass in their current status, they will greatly jeopardise the objectives of the PBO Act, key among these the re-birth of a sector guided by national values and principles, and upholding high standards of accountability and transparency, in the pursuit of the public benefit,” said the statement signed by Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth, chairman of the CJPC.
The PBO proposed amendments include removal of Section 4 (1) on government’s obligation to provide an enabling environment for non-State actors and consult PBOs on public policy.
The church noted that Kenyans can only exercise their “inalienable right to participate in governance and management of public affairs through their citizens groups – CBOs, FBOs, NGOs, and other initiatives that they may form to facilitate their involvement in service provision and public affairs arguing that the policy if adopted is in “bad faith and negates the constitutional principle of public participation.”
As one of the Non-Governmental Organization, Faith Based Organizations in Kenya have helped in promoting Socio-Economic and holistic development in the country.
The Catholic Church and other mainstream Churches in Kenya are key players in promotion of Pastoral, Socio-Economic and Political Development Processes in the country.
The Church significantly continues to promote access to Education, Health Services, Social Justice, improving livelihoods of the poor and marginalised in the society, advocating for Good Governance and protection of fundamental rights of Kenyans.