Catholic Archbishop in Kenya Faults Politicians for Downplaying Manifestos, Using Slogans

Archbishop Anthony Muheria. Credit: ACI Africa

A Catholic Archbishop in Kenya has faulted politicians in the East African nation for prioritizing the use of slogans over political manifestos ahead of the general elections scheduled to take place on August 9. 

In an interview with ACI Africa on the sidelines of the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop John Mbinda of Lodwar Diocese, Archbishop Anthony Muheria underscored the significance of political manifestos. 

“Manifestos are very deliberate and strategic well thought approaches. They are the action plans to turn, change or achieve what you say,” Archbishop Muheria said during the June 3 interview. 

In Kenya, he said, “the unfortunate thing is that manifestos have lost meaning.”

“People are thinking about manifestos as an afterthought,” the Local Ordinary of Kenya’s of Nyeri Archdiocese who doubles as the Chairman of the Commission for Social Communications of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) further said.


He regretted the fact that Kenyan politicians have resorted to “using slogans”, some borrowing “songs from pop stars” to make them their slogans.

The politicians have not yet come out with detailed strategies on education and health matters, Archbishop Muheria further said, adding that those who highlight some strategies “don't even know the manifestos. Ask anyone, they don't know what they're manifesting.”

The Kenyan Archbishop who has been at the helm of Nyeri since June 2017 reiterated the call, which KCCB members made to the electorate last month, that political candidates be evaluated.

“We are aware of some leaders and candidates who have shown indications of leaning towards ideologies that are destructive to our African values and cultures,” Catholic Bishops said during their May 27 press conference.

They added, “We are particularly concerned about those with pro-abortion tendencies as well as those who are actively involved in sexualization of our young people. We appeal to Kenyans to shun from electing such persons in public offices.”

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In the June 3 interview with ACI Africa, Archbishop Muheria emphasized the need for eligible voters in Kenya to examine the position of candidates on pro-life and social issues.

He said Catholic Bishops in Kenya are aware of the presence of politicians who have agendas that will destroy the youth “by giving them or by forming them in ways which are un-African, unchristian and in ways that dehumanize them.”

“We want leaders who care for the poor; we want leaders who really, really want to uplift the poor,” the Kenyan Archbishop said, and added, “A leader who doesn't have the care for the poor as their concern should not be elected. A leader who thinks the life of a prisoner is not worthy should not be elected.”

The 59-year-old Archbishop continued, “A leader who says that an unborn child who is deformed should be killed should not be elected. A leader who says the child was being conceived in a way which is unfortunate and painful, and perhaps terribly unjust should be killed should not be elected.”

He underscored the need for the Kenyan electorate to examine candidates vying for various positions saying, “You Kenyans should question them; ask, you Mama, you once said that we should allow abortion, are you still saying that? If they say yes, don't elect her.”


“If a guy had said that we must depose the poor off the things we must burn, the shanties, the slums and let the people go, if a leader ever said that, ask him, are you still saying the same?” Archbishop Muheria said, addressing himself to the Kenyan electorate.

During the August 9 poll, Kenyan voters will be expected to cast ballots for their President, Governors, Senators, Women Representatives, Members of Parliament (MPs), and Members of County Assemblies (MCAs). 

In the June 3 interview with ACI Africa, Archbishop Muheria urged eligible voters to take part in the scheduled general elections. 

“All registered voters must vote because by refusing to vote you give a chance to that leader who is going to do a lot of evil to win over the one who would have curtailed,” he said. 

The Archbishop called on Kenyans to maintain peace and cultivate good values.

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“We are not just pursuing peace; we are pursuing what is good for our nation and that is justice within, the harmony of working together, acceptance, (and), so, all the values that are the building blocks that produce peace,” he said.

Archbishop Muheria continued, “We are trying to remove the negatives and telling the people you should not subscribe to the negatives. You should not let the negatives control, you should not be sold to the negatives as the narrative, but we should start doing your own narratives.” 

He explained, “We are not saying this as a nation, but me as a person, I must make the narrative that I will not allow myself to say negative, even if it is going to be for my benefit.”

“I refuse to follow the paths of violence because of me, not because it has been said, but because I have decided I am not going to be using violence. That's a Kenyan. It is about bringing goodness and letting it blossom in us,” Archbishop Muheria said.

He cautioned Kenyans against the tendency to praise what he termed the “over flooded” evil in the country.

“We must change that narrative, and it's not just about the election. It’s about my life, it is about my family, about your family, about my communities, about my backyard, and it is about my children and my grandchildren. It is not about this guy I'm electing,” the Kenyan Archbishop said during the June 3 interview on the sidelines of the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Mbinda.

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.