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Church leaders call for tolerance,peace ahead of polls

A section of Church leaders have called for tolerance and understanding among politicians and their supporters as the country heads to the General Election.

The Anglican Church of Kenya Bishop of Mombasa Right Reverend Julius Kalu while speaking to congregants at Mombasa Memorial Cathedral challenged politicians not to put the country on the wrong path due to political bickering and campaign violence.

Addressing journalists after at the church, Bishop Kalu reiterated the need for politicians and their supporters to embrace respect and tolerance throughout the electioneering period in order for the country to also achieve sustainable peace and security for economic prosperity.

“We call upon Kenyans of all walks of life to see the need for tolerance and respect before, during and after the General Election. We should be a cultured society that respects and tolerates each other,” he reiterated.

The Bishop further cautioned politicians against engaging in politics of ethnicity and religion at the expense of the country’s unity and peaceful co-existence of its populace.

“We have been dismayed with the reckless utterances by the politicians and the violence among their supporters. This is not good for our country as we head towards elections. There is no way to peace, peace is the way. If we are to live happily and comfortably,” Kalu added.

The ACK clergy challenged Kenyans to be wary of leaders instigating violence instead of outlining their development blueprints to the country.

“Kenyans of the 21st century should not be taken for a ride and mistaken with the generation born in the 60s and 70s. They are highly intellectual and young educated people capable of measuring the practicality of many promises politicians are making in rallies,” he noted.

Kalu further urged Kenyans to vet presidential candidates and others seeking different elective positions based on their development track and other parameters including the integrity background.

“We should seize this electioneering period to critically examine the quality of leaders we are going to elect to avoid previous mistakes. We all understand the challenges our country is facing and thus require the right people to steer us out to the right direction,” he added.

At the same time, Bishop Kalu called for enhanced security across the country saying the public expect the country’s territorial borders to be secured from possible threats of terrorists.

“We also urge Kenyans to support our uniformed officers through sharing of credible information that assists them in their work. The citizens should report to security agencies anybody involved in suspicious activities, so that our country is well secured,” he said.

The ACK Mombasa Memorial Cathedral Church also prayed for victims of road accidents including families who lost their loved ones in road accidents.

The prayer is part of this year’s event to mark World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims with Bishop Kalu urging motorists to observe rules and regulations to avoid loss of lives and destruction.

He also urged the police not to compromise in ensuring relevant traffic laws are strictly implemented in the country to safeguard safety of passengers and motorists.

“We also call on our law enforcement agencies to do away with cases of corruption that have compromised the safety of road users in the country,” he added.

The clergy called upon government agencies including Kenya National Highway Authority to improve the quality of roads and remove rogue contractors engaged in substandard workmanship.

“Some of the accidents that have claimed lives of innocent Kenyans have been attributed to poor road constructions. We call upon agencies supervising the construction work to ensure quality is not compromised.”

Kalu further called for removal of unroadworthy Public Service Vehicles (PSV) and private ones operating in the country in order to improve the safety of commuters.

“Let us also respect other road users like pedestrians. Counties should ensure walkways, zebra crossing and other road signs are clearly marked. Bumps should be erected at the appropriate places to avoid accidents,” he added.

By Galgalo Bocha

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