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It attracted the eight Deputy Presidential candidates to discuss matters concerning the implementation of the new Constitution, moral values, Marriage Act, Abortion, integrity and education act.
The eight candidates included Winnie kaburu (RBK), Jeremiah Kioni (Amani), Augustine Lotodo (Narc-Kenya), Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka (CORD), Shem Ochuodho (Safina), Joshua Onono (ARK), Ronnie Osumba (KNC) and William Ruto (Jubilee).
The debate, which was aired live on the National broadcaster (KBC) and moderated by Catherine Achieng’a, saw the leaders state their own stands on matters that have attracted public attentions especially in the neighbouring country Uganda.
Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) Deputy Presidential candidate, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka said he is proud to be associated with the new Constitution and therefore stressed that CORD government shall make sure that the new constitution is fully implemented.
“I promise to uphold the constitution and implement it to the core, and that is in the CORD manifesto,” he said.
On his part, Amani Coalition running mate, Jeremiah Kioni said he was aware of the benefit that comes with the new Constitutional dispensation.
“I am familiar with the good things that came with the new Constitution. We at Amani Coalition will ensure that the implementation of the document is done. The Constitution brought along devolution and through it Kenyans shall be able to run their affairs at the grass root level,”said Jeremiah Kioni.
Mohammed Dida’s Running mate said the current leadership could not be trusted with the implementation of the constitution.
“If they dropped the integrity chapter how can we trust them with the full Constitution? We at the alliance for Real Change are going to implement the new constitution. We assure Kenyans that the Chapter six on integrity shall be reinstated,” said Joshua Onono.
His statement was supported by Paul Muite’s running Mate, Shem Ochuodho who said his party believes in the constitutionalism and equity for all. “We in the Safina government believe in constitutionalism and therefore Kenyans should trust us with its implementation. Kenyans should note that our party has even gone to court to push for the two thirds gender rule,” said Shem Ochuodho.
Jubilee Alliance Deputy presidential candidate, William Ruto cleared the air, saying his government shall ensure that the 2010 Constitution is guarded despite having opposed it.
“We believe that we have a new Constitution that we must implement and create a country that we would cherish, I assure Kenyans that we would implement the constitution,” said Ruto.
Religion and Governance
On the issue concerning the morality, Amani Coalition deputy Presidential candidate Jeremiah Kioni said the core of every society must be founded on a strong religious background.
“The moral fibre of every society is the church and therefore the Church must preach good governance. We at Amani Coalition wish the church to complement the government,” said Kioni.
Musyoka said he is a believer who respects all the religious faiths in Kenya. While Ruto said that Kenya is God fearing Nation and “while recognizing the constitutional provision that Kenya is a secular state,” Jubilee government would create bridges between the church and government to promote harmony in the working of the government.
Ruto who was joined by the church leaders in the 2010 referendum on the new Constitution in the NO camp expressed confidence in the working of the both institutions. “I worked with the church before in the 2010 referendum and I assure you that Jubilee government shall work together with the church,” he added.
The Education Act which was passed by the 10th Parliament was brought to the floor where the religious leaders sought to know the candidates stand on the implementation of the policy.
Ruto said if his coalition wins then government shall recognise the fact that Kenya is moving to a knowledge-driven economy and therefore affordable education is essential for all.
On his part Paul Muite’s Running Mate Shem Ochuodho said the Safina government shall re-visit the legislation to ensure that the law is of benefit to the Kenyan people. “Our government shall scrutinize the law concerning education, because we believe in the education of Kenya,” he said.
Musyoka said he wasn’t aware on any inconsistencies in the law citing that proper measures and views were taken into considerations before the bill was passed. “I am not aware if there was inconsistency in the Education Act. You need to understand that the act was just a subsidiary legislation,” he said.
Narc Kenya Running Mate said that if the act still holds opposition from the education players, his government shall ensure its amended if need be. “We in NARC-Kenya we are going to make the required changes if need be,” said Augustine Lotodo.
Former Ndaragwa MP, Jeremiah Kioni said the church had a crucial role to play in the vetting of those who offer themselves as parliamentary candidates. He said that the leaders they elect determine the laws and policies passed by the house. “I am the man behind the introduction of the education act when I was MP. I am amazed by the manifestos am reading talking about the same,” said Kioni.
Marriage, Same Sex Marriage and Abortion
Among the issues that brought along the rejection of the new Constitution in 2010 by the church was the morality outlined by the constitution on basis of same sex and abortion.
Musyoka reminded the clergy that he knew about theissues but the matters can be amended with time.
Concerning abortion almost all the eight candidates denounced with Ronnie Osumba and Shem Ochuodho supporting the current provisions of the constitution where under section 26. (1) It states that “Every person has the right to life”. And clause (2) says “The life of a person begins at conception.”
The church had opposed clause (3) which says, “A person shall not be deprived of life intentionally, except to the extent authorised by this Constitution or other written law.” And clause (4) which says “Abortion is not permitted unless, in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law.”
“Life begins at conception, abortion is killing, and am sure that marriage act will take into consideration to the issue,” said Kalonzo.
“I support the constitution on procedure of conducting abortion and I do also support the belief that life begins at conception,” Ronnie Osumba said.
The moderator, however, stressed on the aspirants giving their individual stand on Gay marriages and just like the abortion some expressed strong opposition to the issues while 2 of them giving blank checks on the same.
The first to answer the question was Joshua Onono who expressed his dire opposition to the act saying that God had a special purpose for sex.
The debate was held at the Trinity Hall in the all saints Cathedral of the Anglican Church of Kenya. Among the guests who attended the audience include Machakos catholic Diocese Bishop Martin Kivuva Musonde, the leader of the Anglican Church of Kenya Arch-Bishop Eliud Wabukhala and students from Daystar University.