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Catholic Bishop calls for peaceful elections

The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has asked politicians who will be dissatisfied with the outcome of the August 9 polls to seek redress in court for the sake of the country’s peace.

KCCB National Chairman and Mombasa Catholic Archbishop, Martin Kivuva, said failure to publicly accept any political outcome after August 9 polls, may plunge the country into chaos.

“Only one candidate will win in any of the elective positions up for grabs. We must, therefore, be ready to accept election results as the choice of the people. We urge our candidates to be measured in expressing their emotions of victory or defeat,” he said.

The cleric said failure to publicly accept any political outcome after August 9 polls, may plunge the country into chaos.

Kivuva who noted that elections have been characterized by chaos and post elections violence due to bad behaviors, thus arising from the previous incidents, this should not be allowed to happen.

“We hope there are no people who are planning chaos, they had their roles of campaigning, they did so, so they should calm down and wait for Kenyans to participate in the elections, and wait for results, and if they feel aggrieved in any way we have the courts, they should go that direction and not inciting people,” said Kivuva.

The Cleric, who delivered a peace message during the Sunday service at the Holy Ghost Cathedral Church in Mombasa, also asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to deliver credible and transparent polls.

“We are satisfied with their preparations and we are encouraging them to do their work transparently and not to be swayed away by any influence, they have a task to ensure the will of Kenyans prevail, we expect nothing short of free, fair and credible elections,” said Kivuva.

This happens as Presidential candidates, Raila Odinga and Deputy President, William Ruto, are bracing for a tough presidential duel, that will pave the way for the next transition.

Kivuva asked leaders to steer their nation in peace after whichever outcome from the elections.

“So far we have seen IEBC progressing well, especially on election preparedness, but what we are asking is that all relevant agencies should put in place measures, that will see a successful process,” said Kivuva.

Expressing his satisfaction with the election preparedness, the electoral body, he called on relevant government agencies, to assure Kenyans of a free and transparent poll, so as to avert any possible political chaos.

“Parallel ‘Tallying Centers’ must not be used as means of confusing Kenyans on legitimate outcomes. In this era of fake news and deceit, it’s possible for some people to fraudulently generate their results, we therefore ask Kenyans to shun any form of manipulation,” urged Kivuva.

Bishop Kivuva said it’s the time the religious leaders should come together and pray for the nation, to have a peaceful leadership transition during this trying time.

The Archbishop took the opportunity to rally Kenyans to come out in large numbers and exercise their democratic right.

He also cautioned the youth from being used to perpetrate chaos during and after the elections. “Youth are vulnerable to chaos due to their economic challenges, “the prelate noted.

“To achieve your dreams you must come out and ensure peace prevails at all times. Politicians take advantage of your vulnerabilities, at times your current financial weakness, we plead with you to say no to all manipulations that put you on path of violence,” said Kivuva.

He also cautioned the media and election observers to abstain from political biases, but only share information that is factual to avoid any conflict, while encouraging communicators to verify information before sharing it with the public.

“We are part of global society that promotes democracy for peace and development, we believe the importance of observatory role you play during and after elections, adds to peace and development, we therefore ask the government to ensure timely processing of necessary accreditations to facilitate safe movements and their participation in election process,” said Kivuva.

By Hussein Abdullahi

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