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Religious Leaders Call for Dialogue to End Political Tension

Religious leaders from the Nyanza region have called for dialogue between President, Dr. William Ruto and Azimio leader, Raila Odinga, to end political tension in the country.

National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), Nyanza Regional Chairman, Bishop Prof. David Kodia, said the rivalry between the two leaders and their parties was detrimental to peace and cohesion in the country.

Prof. Kodia said the rift between the two leaders was likely to disintegrate the country into chaos, urging President Ruto to take the lead and initiate dialogue to bring on fold all Kenyans, as he moves to roll out his development agenda.

The ongoing demonstrations by Azimio, he said, was a pointer that the country was divided, calling for dialogue and mediation to deescalate the standoff.

He cautioned the youth against being used by politicians to create tension, urging parents to refrain their children from attending political gatherings and unlawful demonstrations.

Addressing the media in Kisumu, Tuesday, Prof. Kodia, further appealed to all politicians to avoid confrontational politics in public, to ensure that the gains made in uniting the nation are not eroded.

“What we are witnessing where the country’s top leadership makes indiscriminate statements is unfortunate and must stop,” he said.

NCCK, he said, has committed to keep the church premises safe from political gatherings, calling on all peace actors to rise to the occasion and protect the nation from collapse.

Prof. Kodia further urged the National Assembly and the Executive, to move with speed and lower the cost of basic commodities, to cushion Kenyans against the rising cost of living.

County Governments, he added, must support the initiative through supporting Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) and the Jua kali, sector to help them recover.

“We are concerned that the high cost of living combined with the effects of Covid-19 containment measures among other factors has exacerbated the country’s rising cases of mental illness and gender-based violence (GBV),” he said.

By Chris Mahandara

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