“Be extremely prudent, shun any form of manipulation of tallying”: Bishops to Kenyans

Credit: KCCB

Catholic Bishops in Kenya have called on the people of God in the East African nation to exercise prudence during the electioneering period, and to avoid all forms of tallying manipulation as the electorate heads to the polls on Tuesday, August 9. 

In their weekly Sunday message issued August 7, members of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) said that it is possible for some people to “fraudulently generate” poll results.

“We, therefore, plead with all Kenyans, including the political parties, to be extremely prudent and shun any form of manipulation of tallying,” Catholic Bishops in Kenya said in their collective message, which Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde of Mombasa Archdiocese read out. 

KCCB members said that while political parties have a right to run parallel tallying centers, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) remains the official tallying agency.

“Parallel tallying centers mustn't be used as a means of confusing Kenyans on the legitimate outcome,” Catholic Bishops in Kenya said, adding that IEBC “must truly be honest and transparent”.


The task of the IEBC is to ensure that the will of Kenyan voters prevails, the Bishops said.

In June, IEBC Chairperson, Wafula Chebukati, said the media and political parties can set up parallel tallying centers for the August 9 general elections.

While terming the parallel tallying centers as a move that will ensure transparency in the polls, Mr. Chebukati said the declaration of winners will be done by IEBC.

In their latest message, the Catholic Bishops have called on Kenyans to act with civility “in voting, and in receiving results”.

“Dear Kenyans, we must exercise the greatest patience as we wait for the final results from IEBC,” they said, and added, “We especially appeal to the candidates, to avoid agitating and acclamations until the official results are announced.”

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KCCB members have also called on election observers to exercise objectivity and impartiality in their assessment of the election process.

“We ask you to be objective in your assessment, impartial and timely in the reports you send out to your constituencies,” Catholic Bishops in Kenya have said, adding that the presence of election observers “promotes democracy for peace and development.’

The role played by the observers before, during and after the results are announced “adds to peace and development of our country,” KCCB members have said.

They have emphasized the need for the government to facilitate the acquisition of accreditations for observers in a timely manner to enable them realize their mission in the country. 

In their message, the Catholic Church leaders have urged the Kenyan electorate to familiarize with the voting process.


“Please protect your ID Card and do not be cheated to give it away for anything. It is important to know where your polling station is located. Follow the rules of voting. Avoid those who will seek to convince you as you wait for your turn to vote,” KCCB members have said. 

They have added, “Voting is done by placing an ‘X’ mark next to your preferred candidate and placing it yourself in the right ballot box. Most importantly, once you have voted go home and wait for the results.” 

The Catholic Bishops have also invited Kenyans to prayer, saying, “Pray, and discern whom to vote for. We encourage you to step away from the noise of campaign messages and reflect on our country and the kind of leaders who will spur the development we desire.”

“Our message, therefore, is to ask each voter to find quiet time to pray and reflect and to vote wisely on Tuesday,” they further said, and added, “Children of God, we put our faith in the Lord that all shall be well. We need to be peacemakers as we vote, count votes, and transmit results.”

“At the end of the whole election process, all of us emerge winners by how we conduct ourselves and keep the peace. May the spirit of the Lord be upon each one of us voters to know to pray and submit to the Lord our desire for everlasting peace and justice,” KCCB members said in their collective message read out by Archbishop Kivuva on August 7.

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Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.