Kenya’s Faith Leaders Urge “highest possible levels of transparency” in Vote Tallying

Representatives of religious leaders in Kenya addressing the nation after closure of polling stations on Tuesday, August 9. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Religious leaders in Kenya have urged the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to demonstrate “the highest possible levels of transparency, accountability and accuracy” in the vote tallying process following the general elections in the East African nation.

In their Tuesday, August 9 message, the faith-based leaders representing the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) and the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) said, “It will be an affront to Kenyans if the ballots they cast so faithfully are miscounted.”

“Following the closure of polling stations across the country, the electoral process has now shifted to counting and tallying of the votes,” Kenya’s faith leaders said about the August 9 exercise.

They added, “We call upon all the IEBC officials, agents of political parties and candidates, and all others involved in the process to exercise the highest possible levels of transparency, accountability and accuracy.”

In their message read out by Bishop John Oballa Owaa of the Catholic Diocese of Ngong, the representatives of religious leaders in Kenya acknowledged the fact that besides IEBC officials, “other actors have been allowed to undertake parallel tallying.”


They urged those undertaking parallel tallying “to continually inform their audiences that such results are provisional” as a way of ensuring that “mistakes made by specific institutions do not mislead the public.”

Despite some reported “logistical and technical hitches” during the voting exercise, which election observers also noted, the religious leaders in Kenya lauded the IEBC for overseeing the casting of the ballots for the various elective positions. 

The electorate in Kenya voted for their President, governors, senators, women representatives, members of parliaments (MPs), and Members of County Assemblies (MCAs).

On the eve of the election day, the IEBC suspended elections for the Mombasa and Kakamega gubernatorial races as well as the parliamentary polls for Pokot South and Kacheliba due to errors in the ballot papers.

In their August 9 message, faith leaders in Kenya called upon the electorate affected by the postponement to exercise patience.

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They said, “We urge the voters and candidates in the affected areas to remain peaceful and patient as they await the opportunity to vote for their leaders, which the IEBC has announced will be done soonest possible.”

In their message read out in Nairobi after the closure of polling stations, the representatives of religious leaders urged political candidates to be cautious about their reaction to the results. 

“We therefore call upon all candidates, supporters and commentators to carefully consider their words and actions in response to the results that are announced,” faith leaders in Kenya said, and added, “Recognizing that every Kenyan has a role to play in the betterment of our society, we encourage both winners and losers to accept the will of the people.”

They reiterated their August 3 message when they held a joint prayer meeting with IEBC about those “dissatisfied” with results, saying, “As provided for in law, any candidate or Kenyan who is dissatisfied with the results may seek legal redress. No one should incite Kenyans to engage in violence on account of the election results.”

They continued, “The religious leaders and institutions remain available to provide pastoral care, support and counseling to all the candidates.”


The religious leaders also lauded Kenyans for maintaining peace throughout the voting process, adding that it is a positive sign of hope for the entire country.

“We encourage all actors and stakeholders to act responsibly and at all times endeavor to preserve peace and national cohesion. The individual aspiration for leadership by any person should not put the lives of Kenyans at risk,” faith leaders in Kenya said in their August 9 message following the closure of polling in the East African nation.

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.