The Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Archbishop Rev. Jackson Ole Sapit has reaffirmed the church’s commitment to advancing good governance, justice, peace, reconciliation and healing among Kenyans as the country gears up towards next year’s polls.
The religious leader appealed for transparency, accountability and inclusivity in the governance processes at both National and county levels, and called on leaders to create a conducive environment for dialogue and promote politics of inclusivity, tolerance and peace to avert the perennial cycle of electoral violence.
Sapit made the remarks during a two days conference on peace and security held in Kisumu County this week, which was convened by the ACK.
“Kisumu has a long history of electoral violence and police brutality. It is my hope and prayer that we will identify strategies that will rejuvenate us to bring peace, hope, healing and advocate for justice for the downtrodden,” said Ole Sapit.
Speaking at the same event, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o lauded the church for setting the agenda for peaceful campaigns as well as spreading the messages of peace and reconciliation.
“Let us set the foundation that will make the 2022 elections the most peaceful polls ever,” urged Nyong’o.
Nyong’o called on the delegates to focus on ways to complement the work already being done by the National Integration and Cohesion Commission (NCIC) to tame hate speech in the country.
He singled out the NCIC’s pivotal role in creating a dialogue between Kisumu, Nandi and Kericho Counties who are presently engaged in boundary disputes to find amicable and lasting solutions.
The NCIC Chairman, Dr. Samuel Kobia while speaking at the same conference said the church has a role to play in the Third Liberation of Kenya through the promotion of national healing and reconciliation.
Dr. Kobia espoused the need for the church, the political class and communities to rise up to the occasion to steer healing and reconciliation in the country.
He remembered with nostalgia the days when the church was at the forefront of championing the struggle for multiparty democracy spearheaded by the late ACK Archbishops Henry Okullu and Alexander Muge.
The Anglican Church in partnerships with the county and national government departments and the NCIC has been advocating for social justice for Kenyan citizens for many years in a bid to create a peaceful society that is beautiful to live in.
The peace initiatives and processes employed by the church include establishing and strengthening local community peace structures, training of local peace actors, mediation, and protection of persons in conflict. Other measures are reintegration, trauma healing and reconciliation through structured community participation.
These approaches have enabled communities in conflict to engage each other and come up with homegrown solutions to the triggers of conflict, thus promoting peace and healing processes in some of the hotspots within the country.
By Robert Ojwang’ and Rolex Dan