Former Kenyan ambassador to Zambia Sophie Kombe together with religious leaders drawn from Kilifi County have urged political leaders to exercise restraint and embrace peaceful co-existence as the 2022 General Election draws closer.
The former envoy who also doubles as a religious leader noted that cases of violence are usually witnessed during the electioneering period, adding that supporters of politicians at times even engage in fist fights due to differences in opinions.
Amb. Sophie raised concern that previous trends of electioneering violence may recur should politicians fail to be tolerant to each other.
The former envoy was speaking during a religious leader’s dialogue she had convened in her abode in Mtwapa Township to engage the church leaders on how to preach the politics of tolerance in their churches.
“Politicians should embrace peaceful co-existence, we must be tolerant to divergent views and avoid violence,” she said.
She insisted women want to see peace prevail before and after the polls to avert skirmishes.
“Women and children normally fall victims of election skirmishes which should not be entertained,” she pointed out.
Kombe called on the parliamentary aspirants and their political parties during their campaign trail to uphold the peace noting that it was vital for the people to vote in a peaceful environment.
Speaking in the same forum, Rev. William Meni, of Jesus Celebration Centre said peace is paramount before, during and after the August 2022 polls.
Meni said the era of causing chaos and mayhem before and after polls is gone and that such incidents must be condemned.
He said the religious leaders want to see the forthcoming elections being conducted in a credible manner to avert post-election chaos.
Rev. Meni challenged religious leaders countrywide in their respective faiths to be on the forefront in championing for peace ahead of the polls.
He urged them to be co-principals in preaching for peace to prevail before and after the polls saying they will carry out peace crusades in the constituency as he condemned acts of violence ahead of the polls.
On his part, Reverend Anthony Gande urged the politician to maintain peace during campaigns and after 2022 General Elections.
Gande said Kenyans are now bearing the burden of covid-19 economic crisis, where he called on the politicians to avoid intimidation and other retrogressive behavior that puts other people’s lives in danger.
By Hussein Abduulahi