25 October 2017

Kenya: Catholic Bishops Call for Peace in Repeat Election

Photo: Grace Gitau/Daily Nation
A voter casting presidential vote in Kenya's election on August 8, 2017.

Catholic bishops have appealed for peace as Kenyans prepare for the fresh presidential election on Thursday.

The clerics on Wednesday also condemned the use of excess force by the police to disperse protestors.

DIALOGUE

The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) asked President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition chief Raila Odinga to dialogue on the stalemate on the repeat polls and advocate for peace amongst their supporters.

"We, as religious leaders, are calling upon the government and the citizens of Kenya to ensure that right to life is protected as guaranteed in the Constitution," said the statement read by KCCB chairman Philip Anyolo.

The bishops asked leaders to exercise their authority with caution and restraint, warning that they will be held accountable for their actions.

"Let us be aware that God will judge us individually as leaders and citizens. We continue to offer prayers for our citizens and country. Let us embrace dialogue," added the clerics.

HARD STANCE

Both President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga have maintained their hard stance ahead of the fresh poll.

Mr Odinga withdrew from the presidential race and accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of failing to initiate reforms that marred the annulled August 8 presidential election.

Meanwhile, Mr Kenyatta has insisted that voting must go on as had been ordered by the Supreme Court on September 1.

The Chief Justice David Maraga-led bench annulled the election, citing illegalities and irregularities in the tallying and transmission of the results.

PROTESTS

The clerics also asked the opposition to halt plans to stage demonstrations on the election day and advised the aggrieved parties to move to court to address their grievances.

"We advise that those aggrieved should look for redress through legal means. We specifically appeal that the demos called for on October 26 be called off. We appeal to President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga to sincerely look for means that brings this election cycle to an end," said Bishop Anyolo.

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