Have “internal dispute resolution mechanisms”: Kenya’s Faith Leaders to Political Parties

Representatives of religious leaders in Kenya. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Representatives of religious leaders in Kenya have called upon political parties in the East African nation to put in place “internal dispute resolution mechanisms” ahead of the general elections scheduled for August 9.

In a statement following a two-day conference that the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) and National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) convened, the faith leaders underlined the need for political actors to make every effort to shun election-related violence.

“We recommend that coalitions and parties activate their internal dispute resolution mechanisms so that disagreements don't escalate into violence,” the leaders say in their July 29 statement shared with ACI Africa.

In their statement following the conference that had more than 250 representatives of religious leaders in Kenya in attendance, the faith leaders urge aggrieved political candidates to file their grievances in a court of law.

“Regardless of the results announced, do not engage in violence and instead encourage all who are dissatisfied to file petitions in court,” they say.


The representatives of religious leaders in Kenya caution against inciteful utterances, saying, “We call upon all political actors and commentators to ensure that their speeches and those of their agents and supporters promote peace and cohesion, and do not incite people or engage in spoiling characters.”

They go on to caution citizens of the East African nation against giving in to incitement and also to be careful not to be used by politicians to cause any violence.

“We urge all Kenyans to continue upholding peace and resisting incitement to violence,” the representatives of faith leaders in Kenya say, and add, “As a citizen, go and vote and then go home.”

Addressing themselves to the media, the faith-based leaders advocate for “live coverage” of the briefings of the officials of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

They say, “We plead with all media outlets to provide live coverage of the IEBC briefings as part of our collective civic duty so that all Kenyans are informed and are therefore not easily swayed by propaganda.”

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The representatives of religious leaders in Kenya caution the media against partiality, and push for “equitable and objective coverage to all coalitions and candidates.”

On security during the electioneering period, the religious leaders laud the measures the law enforcement agencies have put in place as well as their “manifested continuous engagement with the IEBC”, and add that this is “promising synergy and collaboration.”

To enhance synergy and collaboration, they say, “We recommend that the training on election security management be accelerated, and be expanded to include all the cadres of police officers.”

In the four-page statement that was signed by Bishop Alfred Rotich of Kenya’s Kericho Diocese on behalf of KCCB and Rev. Canon Chris Kinyanjui of NCCK, representatives of religious leaders in Kenya call for the adoption of “inter-agency approach” in resolving “jurisdictional issues”.

“We recommend that the Commissions and Agencies adopt an inter-agency approach to resolve outstanding jurisdictional issues,” they say, and add, “We also urge them to keep off activities and events that can be perceived to be partisan so that they execute their mandates effectively.”


On the role of faith-based institutions during the electioneering period, the representatives of religious leaders in Kenya recognize the fact that “KCCB and NCCK have mobilized more than 2,100 volunteer observers in all the counties to monitor the polling day processes and outcomes.”

“We encourage our brother and sister Clergy to continue using their platforms to preach peace and national cohesion before, during and after the elections,” they say, and add, “Let us also collaborate with the IEBC and other actors to provide voter information so that the citizens know why and how to participate in the polls.”

“Let us put in place structures to provide spiritual and psychosocial support to all candidates, especially the more than 14,000 who will not win the elective positions,” the religious leaders say in their July 29 statement shared with ACI Africa.

“We appreciate the fact that the 2022 General Elections are more issue based than all other polls we have had in the past,” they say.

The representatives of faith-based leaders in Kenya underscore the need to foster issue-based politics, saying, “Let us all join hands to progress this trend by ensuring that every actor plays their role effectively and efficiently, and that we all uphold peace and national cohesion before, during and after the elections.”

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Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.