“We also call upon all actors to handle electoral and judicial institutions honorably, with integrity and honesty, dispensing true justice, and avoid bringing them into disrepute,” Catholic Bishops in Kenya say in their collective statement in which they also “call upon State Officers to desist from engaging in political activities as is required of them in Article 75 of the Constitution of Kenya.”
They highlight some of the misdeeds in the previous elections including late arrival of electoral materials, burning of ballot papers by disgruntled supporters of candidates, and say that such actions “are all shadows of the way corruption can play out in the General Elections.”
They urge candidates for various political positions to refrain from electoral fraud and contestants to avoid uttering statements that could lead to ethnic hatred and violence.
“Getting into public office is not an opportunity for leaders to enrich themselves or trample on the people's rights,” Catholic Bishops in Kenya say, and add, “Rather, it should be a challenge to all leaders to render services to the people.”
Highlighting inability to accept election results as one of the major issues that lead to violence, KCCB members call upon all the political aspirants to express readiness to accept the election results.
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“We call upon all Kenyans that we must demand that all aspirants accept the results of the forthcoming General Elections or seek redress in the courts if aggrieved,” they say, and emphasize, “We insist that all disputes and grievances must be addressed through the judicial system in the country.”
In their collective statement, Catholic Bishops in Kenya speak about insecurity and ethnic conflicts in some parts of the East African country and say that such cases are normally fueled by drought and politics.
They laud the interventions of the government in some of the regions in an effort to restore peace and say that the government is still needed to do more to find lasting solutions to what they refer to as perennial conflicts that normally lead to loss of lives.
They say, “A multi-pronged approach towards ending the conflicts should be considered. Apart from mopping up illegal guns, a new long-term strategy that seeks to wean the people from overdependence on a livestock economy must be put in place.”
“We call on the security agencies to stop the current tendency of reacting when lives are already lost and engaging in blame games in matters of the security of Kenyans,” Catholic Bishops say in their May 27 statement shared with ACI Africa.
The Catholic Bishops’ statement also includes reflections on the rising cost of living in the country. They regret the fact that the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities is becoming unaffordable to most families.
Majority of Kenyans are suffering as most of them are still living below poverty line besides the fact that they are still recovering from lost livelihoods due to the effects of COVID 19, KCCB members say.
“We call on the Government to make a deliberate policy intervention to cushion Kenyans by way of reduced taxes on basic commodities until such a time that the economy will have improved,” they say.
The Catholic Bishops add, “The high cost of fuel continues to be a concern because it has a ripple effect on the prices of essential commodities.”
On international debt, KCCB members say, “We urge the Government to come out in a more transparent manner to address the issue of International debt."
“Let the Government open up space for candid discussions around this matter so that the nation can find lasting solutions to this problem which is now threatening the economy of this country,” Catholic Bishops in Kenya say in their May 27 collective message shared with ACI Africa.
Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.