The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited the faithful in the 26 Dioceses of the country and all people of good will, to join in praying for the country. In a press statement issued 28 July 2017 at the Catholic Secretariat in Nairobi, by all the Bishops, the prelates propose to start Novena prayers for peaceful elections from 30 July to 7 August 2017. The country goes to the polls on 8 August.
The Bishops also appeal to the youth in the country to restrain themselves from violence and instead urge them to become agents of peace. They encourage young people to embrace a culture of peace and to engage in peace-building activities.
In the press statement, the Bishops further appeal to Kenyan media to remain objective and help create a peaceful environment that promotes justice, peace and reconciliation.They say that the country's security agencies must also intensify their preparedness in assisting the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) secure trust and transparency among citizens.
(Rose Achiego in Nairobi)
Below is the full statement
“SEEK PEACE AND PROSPERITY” ……… (JEREMIAH 29:7)
We the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, meeting in Nairobi, wish to address all Kenyans as we prepare to exercise our democratic rights by casting votes to elect our Leaders. We wish to note that the moment we have been waiting for is here. We are calling upon all Kenyans to seize this opportunity to exercise our constitutional right and give ourselves Leaders of integrity. The clarion call has been to have Just, Fair, Peaceful and Credible Elections. We need to create a peaceful environment, to demonstrate our patriotism for our wonderful Country, and ensure that all parts of Kenya are in peace.
We note with appreciation, the relatively peaceful manner in which campaigns have been conducted. We urge all the candidates to continue conducting themselves with decorum and sobriety in the remaining stretch of the campaigns, in order to achieve cohesion and National integration.
We appeal to the Youth to restrain themselves from violence and instead be the agents of peace. We exhort them to uphold to the culture of peace and engage in activities of peace-building.
As Catholic Bishops, we recognize the achievements so far made by the IEBC under the circumstances. We appeal to the entire Country to accord IEBC all the support it needs to discharge its constitutional mandate. On their part, we ask the IEBC to see to it that they secure Just, Fair, Transparent, Credible and Peaceful Elections.
We shall work closely with all the election observation groups, and all Agencies and non-State actors involved in the electoral process.
We recognize that the Media is a very crucial actor in the entire electoral process. It is the media that packages and relays information to the public. It is, therefore, important for the Media to remain objective in helping to create a peaceful environment and promote the culture of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation.
As we draw closer to the elections we urge the Security Agencies to intensify their preparedness in helping IEBC to secure Just, Transparent and Peaceful elections.
We recognize the manner in which the Judiciary has discharged their duties so far. We encourage it to continue upholding its professionalism and commitment to this Country in fulfilling its mandate without fear or favour.
In conclusion, we invite all the faithful in our Dioceses and all people of good will, to join together in praying for our Country. We propose to start the Prayer of the Novena for Peaceful Elections from 30th July to the 7th of August 2017.
We beseech God to take charge of the whole process of Elections. “May the God of Peace be with you all, (Rom. 15:33).
PEACE ……………….. PEACE ……………….. PEACE ………………..
God bless you all. God bless our Country Kenya.
Friday, 28th July 2017
Rt. Rev. Philip Anyolo
KENYA CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS
(Original, counter-signed by all Kenyan Catholic Bishops)