By Odiwuor Opiyo
NAIROBI, MAY 20, 2022 (CISA) – The Dialogue Reference Group comprised of religious leaders drawn from various denominations: the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK), and Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM), has called upon all Kenyans to pray for the nation, in the wake of the 2022 general elections.
In a press statement dated May 19, that came at the end of the group’s meeting at Ufungamano house in Nairobi, the leaders reflected that “While the Constitution of Kenya 2010 has provided for when the elections are to take place, we do recognize that myriad development could emerge that could hinder peaceful, free, fair and credible elections. Let us all pray and call upon God.”
They observed that “peace is the prerequisite for wholesome living for all people. Without it, development and full living are not possible. It is for this reason that the Holy Scripture call us to work for peace.”
As such, the Dialogue Reference Group called upon all political actors involved in this year’s elections to handle electoral institutions honourably recalling that part of the factors that contributed to the 2007/8 clashes was, “the blatant disparaging of electoral and judicial institutions by political actors.”
“We now call upon all actors to handle electoral and judicial institutions honourably and avoid bringing them into disrepute. If anyone has any concerns or issues regarding any of the electoral institutions, let these be addressed through the laid down processes,” the Dialogue Reference Group urged while calling out to electoral institutions to execute their mandates expeditiously and impartially.
The leaders moreover, sensitized the electorate on their mandate in participating in the elections by voting, terming the exercise not only as a right but a “civic and spiritual responsibility.”
“Verify your voter registration details by visiting the nearest Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) office, or using the shortcode or website provided; carefully assess and vet the persons aspiring to be elected to different positions, refuse to be incited to engage in violence or any other acts of lawlessness before, during or after the elections,” read the statement.
The Dialogue Reference Group also asked all aspirants to accept the results as announced by the IEBC as refusal has in the past been a precipitate for chaos and violence.
While addressing the government, the religious leaders maintained that the ongoing clashes in various counties are unacceptable and reminded them that, “The government has a sworn duty to protect the lives and properties of all Kenyans. No Kenyan should live in fear.”
“We conclude by remembering that since peace is core to humanity and a stable nation, we each must play our part to ensure we live peacefully and cohesively with one another, in full adherence to the rule of law,” said the religious leaders.