Religious Leaders Urge Kenya’s President “to balance” His Support of Political Candidates

The religious leaders speaking at a press conference in Nairobi, Kenya. Credit: Inter-Religious Council of Kenya

Representatives of religious leaders in Kenya have called on the country’s President “to balance” his support of the choice of candidates vying for political seats in the general elections scheduled to take place August 9.

In a statement published Tuesday, July 5, representatives of religious leaders in Kenya under the auspices of the Dialogue Reference Group (DRG) urge Kenyans to “live peacefully and cohesively with one another” in adherence to the rule of law. 

“We continue to urge the President, as the symbol of national unity, to balance his right to support candidates of his choice with the duty to assure all Kenyans that the state will not unduly influence the electoral process,” the religious leaders say.

President Uhuru Kenyatta publicly endorsed opposition leader, Raila Odinga, for presidency earlier this year. 

In their statement, DRG officials also call upon State Officers “to desist from engagement in political activities as is required of them in Article 75 of the Constitution.”


The representatives of religious leaders say members of the institutions that are involved with overseeing Kenya’s general elections need to “to execute their mandates expeditiously and impartially.” 

“We in this Dialogue Reference Group recall that one of the factors that contributed to the Post Election Violence of 2007–2008 was the blatant disparaging of electoral and judicial institutions by political actors. This led to the pursuit of justice outside the laid down structures,” they say. 

To prevent similar mistakes, they say officials of electoral and judicial institutions need to handle the polls “honorably and avoid bringing them into disrepute”.

“If anyone has any concerns or issues regarding any of the electoral institutions, let these be addressed through the laid down processes,” they say.

Officials of the religious group that is currently chaired by Archbishop Martin Kikuva Musonde of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa urge politicians to accept poll results. 

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They say that refusal to accept election results that will be announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) can be “a driving factor of post-election crisis”.

“It is our considered position that as Kenyans, we must demand that all aspirants accept the results announced by IEBC,” they emphasize, adding that Kenyans need to demand that politicians “seek redress in court” if aggrieved by the poll results. 

“No electoral disputes are to be addressed on the streets,” DRG officials say in their statement published July 5, in which they also call on all Kenyans to ensure peace reigns in the country before, during and after the August 9 general elections. 

They say, “Since peace is core to humanity and a stable nation, we each must play our part to ensure we live peacefully and cohesively with one another, in full adherence to the rule of law.”

“It is therefore crucial that no one is allowed to engage in hate speech or incite Kenyans against one another. Necessary steps must be taken against such,” DRG officials say, and conclude, “May God bless Kenya now and forever more.”


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.