Mobilising Faith Communities for Peaceful Coexistence and Social Economic Development
15th November, 2015

 

The relationship and interfaith processes between Muslims and Christians, particularly at the leadership level, has been at the centre of local and international discourse in the recent past.  
It is this view, and in keeping with her core mandate of fostering the strengthening of interfaith relations at the county level, that IRCK supported the launch of Tharaka Nithi Interfaith Network on 14th October, 2015.
The colourful event held at Kathwana Primary School grounds was graced by H.E. Governor Samuel Ragwa as the chief guest. Other leaders who joined over two hundred Religious Leaders from various faith communities to mark the historic ceremony include the Deputy County Commissioner, County Executive Committee Members and a number of Members of the County Assembly among other guests.

A section of religious leaders and pupils of Kathwana Primary school listening to performance by Chuka University Students drama club during the launch of Tharaka Nithi IFN

Through a memorandum addressed to the county government, the Religious Leaders called for greater involvement in public processes in the county. They singled out the need for robust engagement with the county government on issues of citizen participation, education, health service provision, security and cohesion.
The Tharaka Nithi County Governor Hon. Samuel Ragwa called upon the Interfaith Network leaders to involve themselves in public participation on various issues affecting the county. He urged them to mobilise members of their respective congregations to also participate. He added “I acknowledged the need of this team in decision making on matters that affect the common mwananchi in our County”.

H.E Governor Samuel Ragwa cuts a cake to mark the official launch of Tharaka Nithi IFN in the presence of the IRCK Executive Director Dr. Francis Kuria (red tie) a section of IFN members and county officers.

The governor mentioned that the IFN provides a good platform for sensitizing members of the public, when there are new Bills, Motions and Policies being discussed which always need their input as citizens and residents of Tharaka Nithi.
In relations to partnerships and collaboration, the governor said “I also encourage partnership with the religious sector on Health and Education which will strengthen service delivery. Notably these two sectors have flourished well in the past under various religious leadership”. He concluded by stating that the county has been experiencing boundary clashes which have affected peace and unity among the people. He called upon the network to partner with the County Government in fostering peace initiatives. He expressed optimism that this, will ensure the county remains united so as to spark development in the area. called upon the Interfaith Network leaders to involve themselves in public 'participation on various issues affecting our county so that they can encourage the members of their respective place of worship. I acknowledged the need of this team in decision making on matters that affect the common Mwananchi in our County.
This will also be a platform to create awareness to the members of the public, when there are new Bills, Motions and Policies being discussed which will always need their input as Citizens and residents of Tharaka Nithi. I also encourage partnership with the religious sector on Health and Education which will strengthen service delivery. Notably these two sectors have flourished well in the Past under various religious leadership.
Lastly, as a County we have experience boundary clashes that have affected our peace and unity as one people. I call upon this network to partner with us in peace initiatives, this, will ensure we remain in unity as brothers and sisters in steering for development and uplifting the living standards of our peoplecalled upon the Interfaith Network leaders to involve themselves in public 'participation on various issues affecting our county so that they can encourage the members of their respective place of worship. I acknowledged the need of this team in decision making on matters that affect the common Mwananchi in our County.
This will also be a platform to create awareness to the members of the public, when there are new Bills, Motions and Policies being discussed which will always need their input as Citizens and residents of Tharaka Nithi. I also encourage partnership with the religious sector on Health and Education which will strengthen service delivery. Notably these two sectors have flourished well in the Past under various religious leadership.
Lastly, as a County we have experience boundary clashes that have affected our peace and unity as one people. I call upon this network to partner with us in peace initiatives, this, will ensure we remain in unity as brothers and sisters in steering for development and uplifting the living standards of our peoplecalled upon the Interfaith Network leaders to involve themselves in public 'participation on various issues affecting our county so that they can encourage the members of their respective place of worship. I acknowledged the need of this team in decision making on matters that affect the common Mwananchi in our County.
This will also be a platform to create awareness to the members of the public, when there are new Bills, Motions and Policies being discussed which will always need their input as Citizens and residents of Tharaka Nithi. I also encourage partnership with the religious sector on Health and Education which will strengthen service delivery. Notably these two sectors have flourished well in the Past under various religious leadership.
Lastly, as a County we have experience boundary clashes that have affected our peace and unity as one people. I call upon this network to partner with us in peace initiatives, this, will ensure we remain in unity as brothers and sisters in steering for development and uplifting the living standards of our people
Speaking at the ceremony, the IRCK Executive Director Dr. Francis Kuria thanked Religious Leaders in the county for their initiative of coming together to form the interfaith network. He informed them that they have joined a robust community of religious leaders with presence at national, regional and international level.  He said that IRCK is committed to supporting the network to live to its mandate of prompting peace, coexistence and general wellbeing of county residents. He mentioned that the secretariat will build the capacity of the Religious Leaders on aspects of promoting citizen participation and accountability through social budgeting. He explained that as advocates of people, the religious leaders need to play a proactive role in championing for transparency and accountability in the allocation and use of public resources. He said that the concept of social budging will help in improving social service provision.  
The Interfaith Network is a culmination of a series of formation meetings and capacity building programmes spanning a period of two years. It consists of religious leaders from the main faith communities present in the county. The network draws is membership from the three constituencies in Tharaka Nithi County (Maara, Chuka Igamba Ng’ombe and Tharaka).

H.E Governor Samuel Ragwa (Right) handing over the IFN’s certificate of incorporation, with him is the IRCK Executive Director (Red Tie) and the Deputy County Commissioner     

The rationale behind the event was to declare the IFN’s presence as the recognised interfaith body in county to a variety of stakeholders mainly the local administration of the county, residents of the county, NGO’s and civil societies operating in the region, the media and other interested parties with the view of enhancing collaboration and synergy building in solving issues of shared concern within the county.