Bishop Cornelius Korir, the Bishop of Eldoret and Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops-Catholic Justice and Peace (KCCB-CJPC) has asked religious groups and media to strive to unite Kenyans as general elections draw near.
“Religious groups should handle the people well without division. At the same time, the media has to handle the voting well without causing chaos. Sometimes we are not aware that we are causing chaos. We don’t want this country to be divided again by ethnicity,” he said.
The Bishop was speaking recently during a religious leaders and media engagement at Nairobi’s Sarova Stanley Hotel.He expressed regret that some sections of media and religious groups were at the forefront of promoting hatred during the 2008 General Elections. He emphasised that mistakes of the past should never be repeated.
“In 2008 there were some media groups that were really promoting hatred... There were some Bishops who were not accepted in particular areas because of the comments they made.” The Bishop added, “We would like to appreciate all Kenyans, all ethnic backgrounds. We are 44 communities in Kenya. How do we bring these 44 together? We have to acknowledge the ethnic background of each group. We have to acknowledge the gift God has given to each group,” Bishop Korir said.
Fr Lucas Ong’esa the Deputy Secretary General of KCCB called upon Kenyan media to play its role properly in ensuring peaceful elections.
“The role of media during (the) electioneering period is paramount... It is, therefore, our request that the media being part and one of the institutions in Kenya be part of the process that can ensure that there are free, fair, credible and peaceful elections,” he said.
The religious meeting brought together representatives from the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB); Seventh-Day Adventists; National Muslim Leaders Forum (NAMLEF); Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK); Hindu Council of Kenya; Interreligious Council of Kenya; Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM); Organization of African Instituted Churches and the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK).
Bishop Cornelius Korir is known in Kenya for his role in peace building among the warring pastoralist communities of northern Kenya.
(CISA in Nairobi)