Prepare Supporters for “any result”: Catholic Bishops in Kenya to Political Candidates

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

Catholic Bishops in Kenya have urged political candidates in the East African to prepare their respective supporters to accept the outcome of the poll scheduled for August 9. 

In their Sunday, July 31 message read out by Archbishop Anthony Muheria of Nyeri Archdiocese, members of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) caution the electorate against “feeling helpless or losing interest in voting for many reasons”.

Dear Kenyans, the election contest cannot be a do or die. We know all the candidates cannot emerge winners. For every elective seat, there will be only one winner,” Catholic Bishops in Kenya said.

They added, “We urge modesty and respect for those who emerge winners. Please do so with some humility. Those who lose should equally concede graciously without causing chaos. Unmeasured celebrations or mayhem do not advance the democratic space we are enjoying.”

“We have learned from the past, how those who emerge victorious quickly develop a condescending attitude towards unsuccessful candidates. As our Kenyan athletes have taught us, any worthy winner will first congratulate a worthy unsuccessful competitor,” KCCB members said. 


They called upon political candidates to “prepare their supporters for any result –successful or unsuccessful”, and added, “Candidates have to play their civic role by deliberate strategies that assure their supporters that whatever the outcome, life must continue.”

“We must remember that Kenya belongs to all of us!” Catholic Bishops in Kenya said. 

“We ask for level-headedness and sobriety from all involved, from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) up to the Government agencies in this critical time,” they said.

They went on to advocate for active participation in the poll, saying failure to vote “gives room for less qualified candidates, including the corrupt people and less worthy people to win seats that they clearly should not."

“We are now in the final lap heading to the election of our leaders,” KCCB members noted, and added, “We can determine Kenya’s direction through our vote. We must not sell it off through cheap hand-outs these last days.”

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“The risk we warn everyone against is feeling helpless or losing interest in voting for many reasons,” they said in the July 31 message, and added, “If faced with a poor selection of choices, we must avoid the worst!” 

The Catholic Bishops further called upon Kenyans to “play our part and resume our normal public life after voting."

They cautioned political candidates against deception, urging them to "make promises that are realistic and not the lies of false promises.”

KCCB members called upon political candidates to approach the challenges they promise to solve with strategy and goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART).

“Solutions need SMART strategies,” they said, and further urged those seeking the elective posts "to avoid pronouncements that can provoke anxiety or lead to violence."


"May we elect leaders who will bring honor to our country. May we be led by the dream of the Kenya we desire!” Catholic Bishops in Kenya said July 31.

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.