Kenyans are expected to elect the President, Members of the National Assembly and Senate, county governors, women representatives, and members of the 47 county assemblies in polls scheduled for August 9.
Kenya has witnessed post-election skirmishes multiple elections in the past.
While the violence following the December 2007 poll that left at least 1,000 people dead and some 350,000 displaced has been widely reported, the East African nation has witnessed other post-election skirmishes, including the 1992, 1997 and 2013.
In his Lenten message circulated March 3, Bishop Obanyi said the country is returning to normalcy following the COVID-19 pandemic that led to 5,640 deaths. At least 323,002 people in Kenya are reported to have contracted COVID-19.
“We deservedly should feel comforted by the sense of normalcy returning,” Bishop Obanyi says, and urges vigilance since the pandemic “is not yet fully behind us.”
“I advise caution as we go about our day-to-day activities especially in this season of electioneering,” he says, and adds, “Let not our human desire for authority and power blind us to the sanctity of human life and our sacred duty to take all necessary steps to guard it.”
Bishop Obanyi also urges the people of God under his pastoral care to participate in the Synod on Synodality.
"Let us respond to this universal calm of communion, participation and mission," he says in reference to the theme of the ongoing preparations for the Synod on Synodality, and adds, "May we find it in our hearts to listen more and mind even those that we ordinarily deem to be of no consequence."
“What a better moment to reflect on this sense of community than participation as invited by His Holiness Pope Francis through the Synod on Synodality, which is currently underway," the Bishop says.
Further, Bishop Obanyi urges Kenyans to "honestly participate" in the 2022 Lenten campaign.