The Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) have raised concern over rising political temperature and intolerance among politicians in the country.
In an interview with Kenya News Agency, CIPK National Organizing Secretary, Sheikh Mohamed Khalifa, cautioned politicians against inflammatory utterances that would incite Kenyans.
Khalifa called upon politicians to engage in mature and issue-based politics and desist from empty rhetoric meant to mislead Kenyans.
The cleric further added that CIPK will spread peace messages around the country to heighten tolerance and respect among Kenyans before, during and after elections.
He observed that Kenya is a beacon of peace in the region and challenged politicians to conduct themselves in decorum while traversing the country to campaign among Kenyans of different ethnic diversities.
The CIPK national organizing secretary also challenged politicians to articulate their agenda and policies to the electorate without insulting each other in their political rallies and media.
“We call upon politicians to campaign without resorting to violence, insults and other means that will deprive us of peace,” said Khalifa.
While calling on Kenyans to shun negative ethnicity, the cleric challenged the electorate to properly vet candidates in order to make the right decision during polling.
He also appealed to the youth to take the lead role in championing for peace and security in the country by rejecting any attempts by politicians to influence them to engage in violence during the current electioneering season.
“The youth are usually influenced to cause violence during elections by politicians vying for different seats but this time round, we urged them to reject such politicians who abuse them for selfish political goals,” observed Khalifa.
He noted that there is a worrying trend in the country where politicians capitalize on underlying social challenges including poverty and unemployment to misuse the youthful population every electioneering period.
Khalifa further challenged candidates eyeing elective positions to accept the outcome and those, who are aggrieved, to seek legal redress. “Let people not plunge the country into unnecessary post-election tension because they dispute the outcome of the elections. They should go to the court and lodge their cases,” he added.
By Galgalo Bocha and Abutwalib Nyiro