The National Council of Churches of Kenya in West Pokot county has urged politicians to maintain peace and order during the campaign period ahead of the August 9th General Elections.
Speaking at ACK St Andrew’s church in Makutano in West Pokot County, the NCCK Coordinating Committee of West Pokot County, urged politicians to maintain peace and order before and after the party primaries and the August 9th General Elections.
The committee insisted on a peaceful campaign and political tolerance as the country heads for elections and said the culture of violence must be discouraged.
They said people need to live as brothers and sisters with their neighbouring committees and asked residents to take charge of their political responsibility of maintaining peace and observing the rule of law.
They said the electorate should use the power of the ballot to elect credible and accountable leadership.
Youth were encouraged not to be used by certain politicians to cause chaos in political rallies of their opponents.
Addressing the press after meeting the NCCK Chairman, West Pokot County branch, Rev Moses Longiro, said the county has so many unemployed youths in the region who can be misused by politicians during the current electioneering period.
“I call upon the residents, politicians, National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), and other state agencies to ensure law and order is maintained before, after, and ahead of party primaries and August 9th General Elections,” Longiro urged.
Long’iro said politicians should embrace peaceful coexistence and avoid reckless remarks and premature politics that could lead to chaos.
“Politicians should play mature politics devoid of chaos,” NCCK Chairman West Pokot County branch insisted.
Mrs Grace Nyuthe, NCCK branch secretary, said, “Gender-based violence in West Pokot, is being experienced due to the patriarchal nature of the community especially Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) early marriages, wife battering, and child defilements, and during elections men use gender-based violence to influence women to vote in line with men’s choice.”
She said due to the illiteracy level among women, they were being exploited sexually when they were looking for election slots and other employment opportunities.
She noted that the issue of direct nominations have hindered many women from getting party tickets thus threatening free and fair nominations within political parties.
“The Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission IEBC, should conduct, free, fair, and transparent elections,” encouraged the NCCK Secretary West Pokot branch.
West Pokot interfaith Forum Coordinator, Lilian Plapan, cautioned women who abandoned their homes just to follow campaigns instead of caring for their children.
She advised women not to be forced to vote for a particular person but they should stand their ground rather than disrespect their families in the name of politics.
By Anthony Melly