Exercise Patience, Self-control: Church Leaders to Kenyans amid Delayed Poll Results

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Church leaders in Kenya have urged citizens of the East African country to exercise patience and control their emotions amid delayed declaration of the Presidential election results following the August 9 general polls.

In their August 12 message, the church leaders representing the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) and the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) have thanked Kenyans “for the patience we have exhibited during this period of counting, tallying and declaration of results.”

“We appeal to all of us to remain patient and to have self-control on our emotions. No one should do or say anything that threatens national cohesion or hurt their neighbor,” representatives of the KCCB and NCCK have said. 

In their message read out by Bishop Alfred Kipkoech Arap Rotich of Kenya’s Catholic Diocese of  Kericho, the church leaders in Kenya said, “Patience is a critical virtue that we must have so as to maintain peace and justice.”

“In this regard, we are concerned about the instances of lawlessness and violence witnessed at different tallying centers,” the church leaders said, adding, “Let us bring this to an end by using the laid down procedures and structures to address any disputes that emerge during the tallying processes.”


The Kenyan electorate went to the polls on August 9 to elect the President, Governors, Senators, Members of Parliament (MPs), Women representatives, and Members of County Councils (MCA). 

While most of the elective positions have been declared, officials of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) are still tallying and verifying the Presidential results at the Bomas of Kenya cultural centre in Nairobi.

The tallied results have shown the Deputy President, William Ruto, and the former Prime Minister, Raila Amolo Odinga, running neck and neck, according to local media reports.

On August 9, religious leaders in Kenya urged the IEBC to demonstrate “the highest possible levels of transparency, accountability and accuracy” in the vote tallying process.

In their August 12 message, church leaders in Kenya called on politicians to refrain from interfering with the IEBC voter tallying process.

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“It is imperative that we accord the Commission the time and space necessary for it to dispense its constitutional mandate of ensuring that the results declared faithfully reflect the will of the people and comply with the law,” they said during the press conference held at the Donum Dei, Roussel House in Nairobi’s Karen area.

The representatives of KCCB and NCCK members have urged the Presidential Candidates, their agents and all their supporters to “maintain the commitment to peace and encourage your supporters to be patient.” 

“Do not speak or act in a way to provoke your supporters to engage in violence,” they added.

The church leaders also expressed concern about the reported cases of fraudulent activities by a section of IEBC officials, saying those found culpable should be held individually accountable.

“We note a number of Presiding and Returning Officers have been arrested on suspicion of engaging in fraudulent activities,” the church leaders said, and added, “Let every IEBC officer be warned that they will be held individually responsible for any electoral malpractices they engage in.”


They thanked the security agencies for doing everything in their power to “ensure security in the electoral process.”

“There has been a noted respect for human rights of the citizens in the process, which is commendable,” the church leaders in Kenya said in their August 12 press conference, adding, “We ask that this is maintained in the next phase of the election cycle.”

They underscored the need to maintain peace, saying, “We have no other home. It is our national honor to elect our leaders. Elections should pull us together, not tear us apart.”

“Let every one of us exercise patience, and reflect on the word of God in Matthew 5:9, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God,’” the representatives of KCCB and NCCK said August 12, adding that Kenyans are “all children of God”.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.