NAIROBI FEBRUARY 28, 2017 (CISA)- Bishop Cornelius Korir has cautioned Kenyans against aligning along tribal lines ahead of the August General Elections.
“Unfortunately we have this terrible habit of placing our country on dangerous paths every time we approach elections. Many lives have been lost as our people are incited to fight one another on tribal and party affiliations. We must respect life,” he said.
The Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Justice and Peace Commission was speaking February 25 at the University of Nairobi during the launch of the Lenten campaign 2017.
“This time of lent is a time for us, to reflect deeply about the direction our country is taking. Is it that of prosperity and peace or that of chaos and death as we witnessed in 2007/2008?” he posed.
Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde, the Vice Chairman of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission also warned against politics of ethnicity saying ethnic groups should never be used to create divisions and animosity among Kenyans.
“Our ethnic groups are an inescapable reality. This should, however, not be a source of conflict. We must celebrate our diversity and look at how we can share with others our rich cultural inheritance,” said Archbishop Kivuva of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa.
“We should examine the intentions of those who have offered themselves for elections and vote with our conscience and not our stomach,” he said, adding that “time has come when the electorate needs to elect leaders of integrity who uphold ethical values.”
The campaign themed Peaceful and Credible Elections brought together faithful from different regions in Kenya, political leaders and government officials among them President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Bishop Philip Anyolo chairman of KCCB Chairman in his opening remarks before the Mass said the gathering was crucial in uniting the country as it approached the General Elections.
“We have gathered here to ensure our country is held together. Here, we make a historic statement that never again will elections divide and sink us deep to the depth of 2007/08 violence,” he said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta urged citizens to pray for the peace and stability of the country.
“Embrace peace in your utterances, in your homes, in your work places and correct those around you who seek conflict and confrontations,” the President urged.
The event began with two processions, one from the General Post Office in the City Centre and the other from Consolata Shrine in Westlands.
The processions came together at the University of Nairobi Graduation Square where John Cardinal Njue of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi celebrated mass alongside Bishops Cornelius Korir, Bishop Philip Anyolo, Archbishop Martin Kivuva, Bishop Joseph Mbatia, Bishop Anthony Muheria, Bishop David Kamau, Bishop Paul Kariuki, Bishop Joseph Allesandro, Bishop Alfred Rotich, Bishop Anthony Mukobo, Bishop Peter Kihara, Bishop Dominic Kimengich, Bishop John Oballa and the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya, Archbishop Charles D. Balvo.