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Church calls for peace ahead of 2022 general elections

The Catholic Church is calling for collective undertaking by all stakeholders to neutralize any actions that may frustrate peace ahead of the 2022 General Election.

Bishop of Kakamega diocese Rt. Rev. Joseph Obanyi Sagwe said the message of peace should be amplified and sustained in the build-up, during and after the election.

“The Church is therefore calling on all duty bearers to make deliberate decisions to keep the public well informed of those steps to forestall any information vacuum that may allow suspicion that may crystalize easily to chaos,” said the bishop.

The bishop says that opportunities for participation must be maximized throughout the election cycle, beginning with voter registration, onto voter education and ultimately conditions that make actual vying and voting easy for all.

Noting that the success or failure of any election is determined at the preparation stage, the Church is calling on all facilitative agencies to not only be transparent, but must be seen to be so.

The church condemned the culture of violence that was witnessed during the Matungu and Kabuchai by-elections in Kakamega and Bungoma counties respectively, saying the culture of violence must be discouraged.

On corruption, Sagwe said the vice, in all forms, continues to pose a threat to fair election and that the church is in support of efforts by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to cap campaign spending though parliament rejected it.

“I supported efforts towards ensuring greater transparency around campaign and funding and hope it would allow the nation to make some steps towards limiting the influence of bribes and abuse of public resources during electioneering,” said the bishop.

The Church is calling on the IEBC, the Police, Anti-Corruption agencies, religious, political and community leaders and the general public to support all initiatives towards peaceful co-existence and electioneering period.

By George Kaiga

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