17 July 2017

Rwanda: Clerics Urged to Sensitise Faithful On Elections

Religious leaders in the country have been called on to play their role in sensitising their followers about the upcoming presidential elections slated for August 4.

The appeal was made by Kalisa Mbanda, the National Electoral Commission chairperson, during a one-day workshop with members of Rwanda Religious Leaders Forum, last week in Kigali.

The workshop was organised by the National Commission for Human Rights in collaboration with the National Electoral Commission to brief religious leaders on their responsibilities in the electoral process.

Mbanda described clerics as 'intore' chosen by God.

"If you need to lead your people to heaven you have to ensure a good place for them here on earth. It's through election that there is good governance. It's, therefore, your duty to guide Rwandans in this regard," he said.

"Love, and peace, cannot be possible without good leadership. Religion just like power can be bad when misused; we saw it in the past."

Marie-Therese Uwizeye, an official from National Human Rights Commission, observed that clerics have power to influence their followers.

Bishop John Rucyahana (Rtd), the chairperson of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, said "we have to teach our followers, family and friends to know their duty during elections."

Even after elections, the electorate have to work hand in hand with the one they voted to build the country, elections are not just for the sake," he said.

Justine Umutoni, the Pastor of God's Power Church, said being involved in the electoral process is part of their duties as citizens.

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