Religious leaders in Mombasa under the umbrella of Mombasa Pastors Fellowship have urged Kenyans to promote peace before and after the August 9 general election.
Speaking during a peace and prayer rally at Mikindani grounds in Mombasa on Sunday, the clergy urged residents to vote wisely and ignore politicians out to divide them for selfish reasons.
The meeting brought together pastors, officials from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and security personnel in Jomvu sub-county.
The Regional Bishop of Redeemed Gospel church Northern Coast Region Lambert Mbella asked Kenyans to approach the election with a sober mind and elect credible leaders who will promote unity and development.
Bishop Mbella said that the election is a one-day affair and therefore life must go on after August 9 without any disruption.
“It is not a matter of life and death, there will always be more elections after this in this nation,” he added.
“Let us have peace in our hearts knowing that even if someone loses this time, there is still another time, they will keep on trying until they win,” said Mbella.
He asked those aspiring for various seats to discourage their supporters from any form of violence and conduct peaceful campaigns to safeguard peace and unity of the country.
Mbella also cautioned the clergy on taking political sides saying that they should be wise and careful as he acknowledged that they also have a democratic right as enshrined in the constitution to do so.
He however said that such a move should be driven by the interest of the Kingdom of God and the church.
He further said that they had not endorsed any leader for any seat saying that they were not going to take that collective move since everyone votes in secret.
“We cannot make a blanket declaration, however we advocate for the interest of the church, and we believe our members who are also wise will be able to understand and know who to vote for,” he said.
The IEBC voter educator for Jomvu Flora hailed the move by the clergy saying that peace was paramount to their work.
She said that the commission needed a peaceful environment to be able to effectively carry out their mandate.
She further urged residents to keep safe their voting particulars and ensure that they confirm their details ahead of the polls.
Jomvu sub-county Police Commander Peter Maluki assured residents that they were well prepared to offer security during the electioneering period.
Maluki put on notice politicians intending to incite the people saying that they were alert and would deal with them according to the law.
By Mohamed Hassan