Breaking News

America disowns group funding ‘No’ campaign

Monday May 3 2010

United States Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger  addresses a press conference at his residence in Muthaiga, Nairobi, at a past event. PHOTO/ STEPHEN MUDIARI

United States Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger addresses a press conference at his residence in Muthaiga, Nairobi, at a past event. PHOTO/ STEPHEN MUDIARI 

By JOHN NGIRACHU

The United States Government has disowned a group said to be funding some Kenyan churches to lobby against the proposed constitution.

The US embassy in Nairobi made the revelation on Monday as Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka asked church leaders and politicians not to close the window for dialogue over the disputed clauses in the draft law.

The VP also said he had not gone against the Cabinet decision when he asked religious leaders to pursue dialogue with the government.

In a statement, the embassy said it neither encouraged nor supported the activities of the American Centre for Law and Justice (ACLJ), the NGO funding its Kenyan counterpart to crusade against the draft.

“We have noted reports of alleged funding from non-governmental groups in the US in support of the No campaign. We wish to clarify that these activities are not encouraged by the US Government,” said the embassy in a statement.

The embassy said it will “support a transparent, credible, and inclusive review process by providing extensive support for civic education, community dialogue and domestic monitoring of the referendum.”

Abortion on demand

The American-based group told the Sunday Nation at the weekend that it was working through its office in Nairobi to tell Kenyans that the draft constitution would allow “abortion on demand”.

Mr Jordan Sekulow, said the organisation had donated “tens of thousands of dollars” to help defeat the draft.

The ACLJ is a non-governmental public interest law firm founded in 1990 by the controversial televangelist Pat Robertson, well-known in Kenya for his programmes on the Christian Broadcast Network.

US envoy Michael Ranneberger has in the past said the US supports the proposed constitution that Attorney-General Amos Wako will published on Thursday.

In a statement sent from his Yatta home, VP Musyoka reiterated the need for Kenyans to pass the draft law and usher in a new dispensation, while giving room for dialogue on the contentious issues.

Additional reporting by VPPS