The National Council of NGOs has today launched a peace campaign ahead of the forthcoming general election in Nairobi.
Speaking in his office at Nyayo House, the chairman of the National Council of NGOs Stephen Cheboi urged Kenyans to vote peacefully and avoid incidences of violence as witnessed in previous elections.
Cheboi also encouraged the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to stand for the truth, transparency and accountability as it is the only institution which can save Kenyans from this chaos.
He also commended its preparations towards the elections but demanded the answers concerning entry of stickers into the country in personal luggage.
“The IEBC is our only hope in this country in the matters concerning elections. I would therefore request IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati to come out clearly and address the issue concerning the arrival of the election material. We don’t want to witness ugly incidents of violence as witnessed in 2007,” said Cheboi.
Cheboi also said that IEBC should remain independent and to remain neutral in its operations throughout this electioneering period. He challenged the electoral body not to show favour in any presidential candidature as this is the only way of keeping Kenyans’ trust.
To the Kenyans, Cheboi reminded them that they have the decision as voters but they should vote wisely to avoid corrupt leaders as well as those who would ignite violence.
“We have the mandate to make wise decisions not based on tribalism, race, or denominations. We don’t have to bleed for them to lead. We are all humans and Kenyans and therefore no need to fight our neighbours,” he added.
The members of clergy were represented by Archbishop Johnson Mwai who urged Kenyans to keep their faith and pray for this nation. He also encouraged fellow clergy leaders to hold prayer sessions on behalf of the country.
“Our leaders are already selected by God and our work is only to confirm. The candidate to win is our president and we should not compete with the work of God,” said Mwai.
Mwai challenged the National Security docket under the leadership of Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Fred Matiangi to ensure peace during and after the elections.
On behalf of the women, Prisca Kiplangat reminded Kenyans that their lives are more important than an election which will last for only a day. She challenged all mothers to advise their children on the effects of violence which mostly involves the youth.
At the same meeting, Felix Tuwei who is a member of the National Council of NGOs advised the youth to use their energy in more productive work but not in violence.
“You will not feed on a 1000 shilling given to you by a politician. Vote for your future and remember that Kenya is greater than us all,” said Tuwei.
By Stanslaus Mbithi and Joseph Ng’ang’a