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Kenya: The Ufugamano/Ufungamano Church Movement; members; types of activities undertaken in process of advocating for constitutional changes; treatment of pastors who advocate for constitutional change (1999-2001)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 10 July 2001
Citation / Document Symbol KEN37219.E
Reference 4
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Kenya: The Ufugamano/Ufungamano Church Movement; members; types of activities undertaken in process of advocating for constitutional changes; treatment of pastors who advocate for constitutional change (1999-2001), 10 July 2001, KEN37219.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4be5211.html [accessed 28 December 2014]
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Information on the Ufugamano/Ufungamano Church Movement could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate, however there were reports concerning an Ufungamano Initiative.

Described by Human Rights Watch as a "civil society initiative," the Ufungamano Initiative is a church-led coalition consisting of over 52 religious and secular groups who opposed parliament's control of constitutional reform (HRW 2001; IPS 19 Dec. 2000; African Scribe 1 Jan. 2001; The Economist 10 Feb. 2001; AI 2000). Also known by the name of its executive, the People's Commission of Kenya (PCK), which is chaired by Dr. Ooki Ombaka, Ufungamano is convened by the Rev. Mutava Musyimi, who is also general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (ION 23 Dec. 2000; Daily Nation 22 Mar. 2001; ibid. 18 Mar. 2001). The Ufungamano Initiative was formed in December 1999 to undertake a parallel review of the Constitution of Kenya Review Act (Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 2000 5 Sept. 2000; AI 2000). On 8 May 2001 the Kenyan parliament passed a bill to merge the Kenya Constitution Review Commission (KCRC) with the Ufungamano Initiative (Kenya Broadcasting Corporation Radio 8 May 2001). Components of the Ufungamano Initiative include the National Convention Executive Council, the Muungano wa Mageuzi, the Catholic Church, the National Council of Churches of Kenya and the United Christian Churches of Kenya (IPS 19 Dec. 2000; ION 26 May 2001; HRW 2001; The Nation 6 May 2001). In addition to Christian affiliations, it is also supported by the Muslim Supreme Council of Kenya and the Hindu Council of Kenya (ibid.; Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 2000 5 Sept. 2000). The Muungano wa Mageuzi (Swahili for Movement for Change) is the political wing of the Ufungamano Initiative (Daily Nation 18 Mar. 2001).

Officials of the Ufungamano Initiative include Archbishop Samson Gaitho, Roman Catholic Archbishop Raphael Ndingi Mwania Nzeki, Bishop Silas Yego, Bishop Gerry Kibarabara, Dr. A.K. Akidiva, Bishop Joseph Ogutu, the Rev. Elkana Salamba, the Rev. Stephen Mburu, Bishop J. Wanjala, Bishop J. Nyatuka, the Rev. Patrick Gitau and the Rev. William Abuka (The Nation 6 May 2001; Africa Confidential 21 Jan. 2000).

Prior to the merging of the two groups on constitutional reform, the Ufunganamo Initiative had appointed a set of commissioners to carry out a broad-based consultative process (HRW 2001). The Initiative actively seeks input from civil society into the reform process (Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 2000 5 Sept. 2000). On 26 November 2000 a hearing on the constitution in Kisumu was broken up by a group of some 50 youths who, armed with clubs, axes and stones, disrupted the meeting for half an hour while police looked on (AI 28 Nov. 2000).

No information regarding the treatment of pastors who advocate for constitutional change could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Africa Confidential [London]. 21 January 2000. Vol. 41, No. 2. "Unconstitutional."

African Scribe [Nairobi]. 1 January 2001. Vol. 1, No. 1. Cathy Majtenyi. "Christian-Muslim Relations and Constitutional Reform." [Accessed 5 July 2001] (Inter-Church Coalition on Africa)

Amnesty International (AI). 2000. Annual Report 2000: Kenya. [Accessed 4 July 2001]

_____. 28 November 2000. Kenya: Freedom of Assembly Under Increasing Threat." [Accessed 4 July 2001]

Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 2000: Kenya. 5 September 2000. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. [Accessed 4 July 2001]

Daily Nation [Nairobi]. 22 March 2001. "Yes to Merger." [Accessed 5 July 2001]

_____. 18 March 2001. David Mugonyi and Mburu Mwangi. "Raila Gives Faith Team 4-Day Notice." [Accessed 5 July 2001]

The Economist [New York]. 10 February 2001. "Moi, the Juggler." (NEXIS)

Human Rights Watch (HRW). 2001. World Report 2001: Kenya. [Accessed 4 July 2001]

Indian Ocean Newsletter (ION) [Paris]. 26 May 2001. No. 951. "The Radicals Behind the PPK." (NEXIS)

_____. 23 December 2000. No. 931. "Pal Ghai Wants to Seduce the Unfungamano." (NEXIS)

Inter Press Service (IPS). 19 December 2000. Katy Salmon. "Kenya: Opposition Ready to Form Coalition Gov't." (NEXIS)

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation Radio [Nairobi, in English]. 8 May 2001. "Parliament Passes Bill to Form Unified Constitution Review Commision." (FBIS-AFR-2001-0508 9 Mar. 2001/WNC)

The Nation [Nairobi]. 6 May 2001. "The Shady Hurdles Facing Ghai Team." (NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB Databases

Africa Research Bulletin 1999-2001

Africa South of the Sahara 2000

Inter-Church Coalition on Africa

IRIN

Keesing's Record of World Events 1999, 2000

Kenya Human Rights Commission

Kenyaweb

NEXIS

US Department of State Background Notes: Kenya

US Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 1999: Kenya

WNC

Internet sites including:

Africa Faith and Justice Network

Africa Online

Christianity Today

Derechos Human Rights

eXpression today

Index on Africa

International Christian Concern

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

University of Minnesota Human Rights Library

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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