Senior religious leaders drawn from different faiths in the country under the auspices of the Multi Sectoral Forum have made an appeal to government bodies to conduct the coming general election in a credible, peaceful, free and fair manner.
In their statement issued at the end of the meeting held in Nairobi on 13th, July, 2017 the religious leaders stated that the primary factor that would cause conflict during and after the elections is credibility. “For this reason, we call upon all stakeholders to do all that is required of them for the elections to be credible,” read the statement.
In ensuring credible election, the religious leaders listed some of the preventive measures against violence as commitment by all actors to resolve disputes through courts, severe and immediate punishment for incitement to violence and hate speech and intolerance to disparaging of the courts calling on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to ensure that all electoral systems are functional, staff members are well trained and competent and that stake holders monitor IEBC processes and system.
They urged all the security agencies to ensure security coverage for all Kenyans and to firmly deal with the perpetrators of hate speech and Incitement to violence as is provided for in the law adding that special focus should be put on stopping the current wave of intimidation and violence being vested on women candidates.
The religious leaders urged Kenyans not to vote for any candidate who incite their followers into violence saying that, anyone seeking to offer elective leadership must be held to account to respect and uphold the rights of all Kenyans especially those who do not support them.
They reminded all Kenyans that, for each position being contested for in the coming elections, there will be only one winner. “As such, each candidate in these elections has a very high chance of losing to their competitors. We advise every Kenyan to prepare for this eventuality, and especially to recognize that life will continue regardless of the outcome of the elections,” read the statement in part.
The Religious leaders expressed their confidence and support for the IEBC, which is the 0nly constitutionally, mandated agency to conduct elections and announce results.
“Let us all Increase our prayers for the nation so that God will grant us to have justice, unity, peace, liberty and prosperity in our nation. We remind all Kenyans that rigging elections is a grave sin. Our desire as religious leaders is that we have clean elections that result in election of credible leaders,” concluded the statement.
Source: (AMECEA Online news Blog)