KENYA: Bishops Warn Politicians against Early, Confrontational Campaigns

KAKAMEGA NOVEMBER 11, 2016 (CISA)  Resurgence of violence and confrontational languages can plunge us again, as a country, into the situation we were in, in the year 2007-2008 that almost deteriorated into a civil conflict, Catholic Bishops have cautioned .

Speaking today during a press briefing at Bishop Stam Pastoral and Animation Centre, in Kakamega the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops warned politicians against “confrontational languages and hate speeches” as the country prepares itself for the General Elections of 2017.

“We wish to caution, again and again, our politicians to avoid inflammatory language, and the tendency to set one community against the other,” they said.

The bishops noted that the election fever is increasingly gaining momentum and the country has been put on campaign mood at the expense of service delivery and development.

They condemned the recurrent acts of violence in the country especially those related to politicians jostling for power in 2017 and called for the arrest of any person inflicting violence and continuous suffering to others.

“Dear Kenyans, elections come and go. We must never allow ourselves to be used for political expediency every election period, only to be left wounded, maimed, hopeless and divided more than ever before,” said the bishops.

The bishops warned against political realignments based on tribal and sectional considerations which they said should not be the criteria of 2017 election campaigns in the counties and in our country.

“We must eradicate this mentality of having “one of our own” at the expense of other communities. This will threaten the peace in areas where there are many communities living together.”

The bishop further spoke against politics in places of worship saying those working in the Church must be seen to be above party politics.

“We call upon the clergy not to use the Church or the pulpit to promote any political candidate. It is important to note that Church law forbids priests from engaging in politics or presenting themselves for elections to political positions,” they said.

They condemned the perpetual infighting among elected leaders especially in counties where service delivery has stopped and all activities paralyzed as a result.

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