By NATION Reporter
Members of East Africa's Freemason Society meet on August 21 and 22 in Mombasa to find ways of overcoming hostility and suspicion from the public.
The society will also be more involved in charity work.
Officials of the organisation, led by the Tanzania-based district grandmaster, Mr J.K. Chande, held a rare press conference at the society's temple off Nairobi's Nyerere Road.
He led nine Freemason officials, among them Dr Joseph Aluoch and Court of Appeal Judge A.B. Shah, in defending the members-only organisation against claims that it engages in secret rituals.
They also took journalists, including television crews, around the building which houses the temple where the members hold daily meetings.
The grandmaster - title for the group's chief administrator and ceremonial head - said the only secret the society entertains relates to the traditional mode of recognition for its members.
"The membership to freemasonry is open to all men over 21 years of age who can fulfil the essential qualification of belief in the existence of a supreme creator. Friendship, charity, and integrity are the basic tenets of the organisation," he added.
They condoled the families of those killed in the August 7 bomb blasts in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam and announced that the society would contribute Sh1.6 million to the National Disaster Fund in Kenya.
The meeting at the Travellers Tiwi Beach Hotel will be opened by the Coast PC, Mr Samuel Limo.