KENYA: Political Crisis Offers Opportunity for Honest Dialogue, Catholic Bishops Say

NAIROBI, OCTOBER 13, 2017 (CISA) – “The current crisis can offer Kenya an opportunity to carry out honest dialogue about the underlying unresolved grievances, concerns and anguish,” the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has said.

While calling on Kenyans to desist from any act of violence, the bishop conference committed to resolving the political stalemate currently being experienced in the country.

“Our only way forward is to dialogue. On our part we are committed to resolving this political stalemate,” the bishops said in a communiqué released October 12 at Queen of Apostles, Clergy house – Nairobi.

The Catholic Bishops and other religious leaders have been offering leadership and are engaged with all the political parties and stakeholders in the electoral processes.

“Because of the gravity of the crisis the country is in at the moment, we have chosen to convene, facilitate and mediate high level talks on resolving the political crisis so that we steer the country to political stability and cohesion,” the bishops said.

“We shall in concurrence with H.E The President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga and their political coalitions agree on the agenda of the national dialogue,” the bishops said.

The bishop’s statement came three days after the NASA coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga withdrew from the repeat presidential election set for October 26.

Odinga accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissions (IEBC) of failing to implement  electoral reforms before the repeat elections, insisting that there would be no elections without the reforms which include the removal of the IEBC CEO, Ezra Chiloba, whom the coalition accuses of bungling the August 8 General Elections.

The High Court on Wednesday October 11 cleared Ekuru Aukot, one of the August 8 presidential election candidates to run in the repeat election effectively opening the election to all the initial presidential contenders.

The IEBC had initially prepared for a two-horse race between Odinga and Kenyatta. The inclusion has caused uncertainty over whether the election date will be maintained or restructured.