You've come to office in a time of great political tension with about 1,000 killed in post-election violence. What are the sources of this tension?

The main source started with the constitutional referendum in November 2005. Our country voted between the Orange (for) and the Banana (against) the draft constitution. The draft constitution was defeated. I sensed tribal undertones then. The country was incensed against the domination of one community, the Kikuyu. In December, after the results of the presidential election were announced, there was an eruption.

How has the church in Kenya influenced national affairs?

The church is divided. Amazingly, the church is running the risk of losing its core mandate—standing for the truth in the spirit of Jesus Christ. But bishops have begun to preach healing and reconciliation.

Will the government support a formal reconciliation process similar to South Africa's after apartheid?

Yes, the process of dialogue has begun. But the topmost agenda is to bring a cessation of violence; and, thereafter, [to deal with] the substantive issues. It is very important for the country to know the truth about the presidential election, who actually won. A whole church was burned down together with believers. That itself is cause for investigation, how a place of worship can become a killing field. There may be those who want to repent, and they should be given that opportunity.

What sacrifices need to be made now?

I have no doubt in my mind God loves Kenya. But we will need to have leaders commit themselves to national peace and cohesion, and that can only happen in a new political dispensation, reflected in a new constitution.



Related Elsewhere:

Christianity Today's coverage of Kenya's post-election violence ...

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