July 25, 2016

KENYA: Fr Joseph Waithaka Sworn in new Regional Superior of Consolata Missionaries in Kenya/Uganda

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NAIROBI JULY 22, 2016(CISA)- Fr Joseph Waithaka, the new Regional Superior of the Consolata Missionaries Kenya/Uganda, and his four-member council took oath of office on Wednesday July 20 at the Consolata Provincial House in Westlands, Nairobi.

“I am delighted and grateful to you all my dearest confreres in Kenya and Uganda for the trust and confidence you have bestowed upon me as your regional superior,” said Fr Waithaka in his maiden speech. Acknowledging the great work done by the outgoing superior Fr Hieronymus Joya, Fr Waithaka promised to give continuity to the good work already done.

“There are positive trends, policies made, successes realized in the last years. May I personally encourage you all to work for continuity of all these great works and achievements realised in our region. Forward ever, backwards never. Let’s work together, improve in the best way possible these strides so far gained,” he said.

Fr Hieronymus Joya, the outgoing superior in his speech thanked the confreres for their collaboration and support during his two terms as superior noting that he leaves the office having transformed the region in all aspects.

“The region is better prepared for the future growth, development and expansion… Thank you for your collaboration, for working together and for achieving all that we have in these past years. It was God’s work; it was your effort and collaboration with you all while being guided, inspired and blessed by God,” he concluded.

Fr Waithaka said that his government is determined to take the region towards self-reliance adding that together, they will work to foster quality vocations in the region.

“The abundance vocation is a sign of life and of the good work missionaries have done and are doing, it is a positive sign of an institute which walks on and grows,” he said.

The other members of the council include Fr Mathew Magak, as the Vice Superior and Fr Angelo Riboli, Fr Leo Bagenda and Bro. Clarence Lukungu as councillors.Fr Waithaka, 56 hails from Thegu parish, in the Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri.

He has 25 years of priesthood and has worked as a missionary in Colombia and Brazil.

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ANGOLA: Government Calls for Closer Church-State Collaboration

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LUANDA JULY 22, 2016(CISA)-The government of Angola has called for closer collaboration and cooperation between the Church and state to realize, “a more just and morally upright society.”

Addressing the opening ceremony of the 17th Plenary Assembly of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) July 20, Vice-President of Angola, Manuel Vicente said that there was need for the two bodies to condemn violence, the abuse of children, immorality and other vices in society and the family.

“We live in world of complexities and ideologies so much so that what happens in one part of the world has direct or indirect effect on the family and society in general in other parts of it,” Vatican Radio quoted  Vicente as saying.

He eluded hope that Church in Africa will continue to support the State in promoting moral values, human rights, mutual respect, democracy and good governance.

The Assembly was officially opened by the President of SECAM, Archbishop Gabriel Mbilingi of Lubango, Angola, who also gave a brief history of SECAM. The theme of the Plenary is “The family in Africa, yesterday, today, and tomorrow: in the light of the gospel.”

He celebrated Observer Status obtained by SECAM in the African Union (AU) as an opportunity for mutual enrichment of the two bodies.

The Archbishop said that he was hopeful, “there will be closer relations between SECAM and the various Governments in Africa through the AU.”

The opening ceremony was preceded by the celebration of the Eucharist at the Holy Family Parish in Luanda. About 150 participants comprising Cardinals; Bishops; Secretaries General of National and Regional Episcopal Conferences in Africa; Resource Persons; representatives of Partner Agencies and other Continental Episcopal Conferences are attending the Assembly.

The Plenary Assembly is taking place in Luanda, Angola from, July 18 to 25, 2016. This is the first time that SECAM is holding its Plenary Assembly in Angola since the Symposium was founded in Kampala, Uganda in July 1969.

The last Plenary Assembly was held in July 2013 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo under the theme: The Church in Africa at the service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace.

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KENYA: Church Calls for Tough Measures to End Arson in Schools

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NAKURU JULY 22, 2016(CISA)-The Catholic Church in Kenya has called for tough measures to end the increased burning of schools in the country.

Addressing the media in Nakuru July 20, Bishop Maurice Muhatia, Chairman of The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) – Commission for Education and Religious Education said that the Church was concerned that “there was a third hand outside of the school community that is facilitating and inciting the burning of school facilities.”

“We appeal to the relevant government organs to thoroughly investigate and anyone found responsible to be held fully accountable,” said Bishop Muhatia of the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru.

He noted that the church “is convinced that the main causes of the burning of schools is not the new rules by the cabinet secretary” noting that “the rules that have been made to deal with indiscipline and criminal activities at the school level should be implemented to the letter without fear or favour.”

He appealed to the principals, teachers, boarding masters and mistresses and chaplains to be very strict with the supervision of all school facilities.

Bishop Muhatia further called on the school heads and administrators against communal consequences on innocent students due to strikes.

“The burning of schools is perpetuated by a few students and many children are innocent. We should find a mechanism to isolate perpetrators and avoid communal consequences by the actions of a few elements,” said Bishop Makumba.

According to the police, fire outbreaks has been reported in over 70 schools with the latest being Riosiri Mixed Secondary School in Gucha South sub-county where a dormitory was burnt.

On July 22, the government urged education stakeholders to ensure that conflicts in schools are solved within established mechanisms.If the Board of Governors or the principals feel that there is a possibility of arson in their institutions and that students can go home for three days or one week, they can close them down,” Capital FM news quoted Government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe as saying.

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ZAMBIA: Bishops Warn Politicians Against Violence Ahead of Elections

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LUSAKA JULY 22, 2016(CISA)-Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) has warned politicians against instigating violence ahead of next month’s General Elections.

In a pastoral letter read by Kasama Diocese Archbishop Ignatius Chama on July 17, at the end of the celebrations of 125 years of Catholicism in Zambia held at St Annes Cathedral Parish, the prelates said Zambians were expecting the politicians to focus on key governance and developmental issues that would help the electorate make informed decisions.

“Democracy requires in the first place that all citizens exercise their right to vote in a free and peaceful environment. Much as we are proudly acclaimed for being a peaceful country, we should never talk things for granted,” the bishops stated.

They noted that given the increasing incidents of politically motivated violence and continued tension between members of the political parties, the record of being peaceful was increasingly being threatened.

“We are afraid that if the current spate of violence was not cured may have a serious impact on the voter turnout as many eligible voters might fear going to vote due to security concerns,” said the bishops.

“As we have often noted, the free will of the people in the hallmark of the any credible election. We must therefore pay particular attention to key aspects that can enhance or reduce and even negate the credibility of the forthcoming elections. Some of the key conditions for any elections to be peaceful, credible and transparent include peaceful atmosphere,” the bishops said.

They further reminded Zambians that voting is one of the fundamental rights and duties of every citizen and appealed to all not to be cheated and bribed during the elections.

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KENYA: Religious Leaders, Civil society Want Electoral Reforms Concluded before Elections

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NAIROBI JULY 22, 2016(CISA)-Religious leaders drawn from different faiths, members of the civil society and trade unions have called for urgent reforms at the Electoral and Boundaries Commission before next year’s general elections.

In a press statement read in turns by Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth, Vice chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops-Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC), Latif Shaban, Representative of Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) and Churchill Suba, Representative of Civil Society Organizations, the leaders called for the vetting of senior and county staff of the electoral body after the exit of its commissioners. The leaders under the umbrella the Multi-Sectoral Forum on electoral reforms noted that the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners must leave office “even if their culpability is not proven” but be given an exit package.

Addressing the media on July 20 at Ufungamano House in Nairobi, the leaders warned that the rivalry between the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee and the joint parliamentary committee could derail efforts to correct Kenya’s electoral system.

The leaders warned against any attempt by the political leaders to interfere with the date of the next general election.

Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai asked Parliament July 20 to consider extending the date of the 2017 elections so as to allow proper reconstitution of the ongoing reforms including giving IEBC new commissioners.

Speaking when he appeared before the joint National Assembly and Senate select committee on IEBC, the AG said the extension would guarantee adequate preparation for general election which is set for August 8, 2017 as stipulated in the constitution that was promulgated in 2010.

The multi-sectoral forum said they will advocate for the procurement of the election results transmission system by January 2017. “On our part we undertake to conduct our civic duty diligently and provide the support needed by the committee to execute its mandate expeditiously,” said the leaders.

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