Be Law Abiding ahead of Elections, Transitions: Bishops in Kenya to Civil Servants

Members of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB). Credit: KCCB

Members of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) have called upon civil servants in the East African nation to abide by the law and remain faithful in their service to citizens ahead of the general elections on August 9 elections and expected changes in political leadership of the country.

In their weekly Sunday message issued July 10, the Catholic Bishops urge Kenyans in general “to follow the law of the land at all times, especially at this time of transitioning to a new political dispensation.”

“We count on our civil servants to be faithful and law abiding during the forthcoming transitions and focus on service to citizens, and not so much about positions in the new Government,” KCCB members say in their message read out by Fr. Kevin Ndago on behalf of Bishop Salesius Mugambi of the Catholic Diocese of Meru.

In particular, Catholic Bishops in Kenya say, “We ask each civil servant to ensure people with bad morals do not take advantage of the transition to steal public funds and property.”

They express their appreciation to civil servants for the role they play in sustaining the government systems in the background especially during transition periods that comes after elections, and urge them to “remain non-partisan” while executing their duties.


Some of the government ministries in need of continuity in service delivery include that of Internal Security, Treasury, Health and Education, KCCB members say, noting that “elections disrupt government operations in many ways, including delivery of service to the citizen.”

In their July 10 statement, Catholic Bishops in Kenya also reflect on the challenges associated with campaigns and urge Kenyans to lean toward civic education and caution against ignorance of the relevant laws around elections.

“We should not only operate within the law but also go beyond it. Our conscience tells us what is right and what is wrong,” KCCB members say, and add, “Not knowing the law is not an excuse, as we have the higher law: God’s law and conscience that speaks to us.”

They highlight ways Kenyans break the law in the effort to “seek personal benefit” and promote corruption, saying, “We often disobey traffic rules, overload our vehicles and over speed; we forge documents, and engage in covering one another. This is why corruption thrives in our country, because we use corruption to short circuit the law.”

“The people who commit criminal actions, who incite others or use character assassination or personal insults, provided they are rich or powerful, enjoy impunity,” Catholic Bishops in Kenya say.

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They call for change from within and in groups, and urge Kenyans to stop “covering anyone who disobeys the law”.

“The keeping of peace starts with each of us rejecting anything unlawful, especially the rampant bribery during the campaigns,” KCCB members say in their July 10 statement.

They urge Kenyans not to allow themselves to be led into “unruly public behavior” and to “reject any incitement to unlawful acts” especially in the electioneering period.

The Catholic Church leaders express their opposition to the strategies used by political leaders in dividing citizens along political parties, ethnicity, class or even religion, and urge the law enforcers to apprehend and bring to justice those who promote hatred among Kenyans.

The members of KCCB call for personal responsibility towards a peaceful coexistence and law keeping, adding that law enforcement is not the duty “reserved only to the Police, National Government Administration and the Courts.”


“We as citizens have to work together with these agencies to pre-empt any form of public indiscipline that might rob us of the peace and quiet we need as we vote on August 9,” Catholic Bishops in Kenya say, and add, “We must commit totally to defend and safeguard peace before, during and after Elections.”

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.