Show Compassion amid “so much emotion”, Kenyan Pro-lifer on Handling Post-election Reality

Catherine Njore, the founder of Linda Vijana Initiative (LVI), an organization that addresses youth challenges in Kenya. Credit: Catherine Njore

Kenyans are dealing with varied emotions as citizens come to terms with results of the general elections, a Kenyan Pro-Life advocate has observed, and underscored the need for the people of God in the East African country to respect each other’s feelings concerning the August 9 polls outcome.

In a Wednesday, August 17 interview with ACI Africa, Catherine Njore, the founder of Linda Vijana Initiative (LVI), an organization that addresses youth challenges expressed regret that the internet is awash with messages intended to hurt perceived losers in the Kenyan elections.

“There is so much emotion going on in the country as some celebrate, as many are grieving, and worse still we are lacking in compassion and wounding those who feel wounded already,” Ms Njore said.

She added, “Is it not our duty as Christians to act like such by loving the half of Kenyans that did not win? Why do we participate in hurting each other?”

Ms. Njore said that the people had already undergone emotional turmoil and mental instability during the COVID-19 pandemic, and noted that what they needed afterwards was healing.


“We already have been going through unbearable times since the pandemic and here we are now having to cope with the results. Mental health is still not given the much attention that it deserves and that lack of awareness has left us treating each other without minding of the damage we cause,” the Kenyan Pro-lifer said, and added, “I again ask that we be compassionate as we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.”

On Monday, August 15, Kenya’s Deputy President, Dr. William Ruto, was declared the winner of the tight Presidential election with 50.49% of the valid votes, against his main challenger, former Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga, who garnered 48.85%.

It is the fifth time that Mr. Odinga unsuccessfully contested for the country’s top seat. He has since rejected the declared presidential results, terming them null and void.

Mr. Odinga who has also lauded the move of four of the seven IEBC Commissioners to disown the results that the chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Wafula Chebukati, declared has promised to pursue all legal options. 

He has accused IEBC chairman, Mr. Chebukati, of “gross impunity” and his August 15 declaration “a major setback” to the country’s democracy, capable of triggering a political crisis.

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In the August 17 interview with ACI Africa, Ms. Njore appealed to young people who feel disgruntled owing to the election outcome to guard their emotions and to champion for truth using all legal and constitutional avenues available to them.

“I believe there is something we can do. Each one of us. We must start by being in charge of our emotions and controlling our language because you don’t know about tomorrow. The person you’re fighting today would be the one you need tomorrow,” the LVI Founder said.

She added, “We can, in our small way, whether through social media or one on one, demand to know the truth of what happened with IEBC without condemning anyone, because the truth should set us free. There must be a way of getting to know who is speaking the truth and verifying it. If one does not want to follow this cause, then that person is the one creating problems.”

Ms. Njore who mentors young people at Mary Mother of God Mweiga Catholic Parish of Kenya’s Archdiocese of Nyeri challenged the youth to always come out in large numbers to vote in their preferred candidates, noting that many young people appear during political campaigns but stay away on the actual election day.

“I noted that youths turned up in numbers during campaigns and were very much noticed by the aspirants but the same didn’t happen on the voting day; fewer turned up to vote. They have varied reasons but mostly is a lack of a dream that things can change,” Ms. Njore said.


She added, “It is important that you the young show up and cast your vote; not doing so is helping the candidate you least prefer to lead. Voting is ‘not remaining silent’ regardless of the flawed system. And even in a perfect scenario, there will always be a winner and the rest. But respect for every Kenyan should be encouraged.”

The youth advocate also expressed the need for young people in Kenya “to break the chains and yokes of tribalism and stereotyping on behalf of a small group of the society.”

“Let us give a chance to persons who are not known and trust that they can serve us and not just ‘eat’ as we are accustomed to. It will take us risking for better. Let us be true Christians and love our brothers and sisters as Christ does,” she told ACI Africa August 17.

Ms. Njore expressed regret that politics in Kenya seem to be for the rich who can afford to give people handouts.

“St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that only good and virtuous men should lead. Many can agree with me that is not the case in our country and globally. And not speaking out as Christians is wrong; in fact, St. Ambrose put it down well; ‘In some cases silence is dangerous’ so looking into if a leader supports life must be a priority, my opinion as Catherine. A person who is against life at any age has no business leading at any level,” she said. 

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The LVI Founder said that many youths she had engaged in conversations had lost trust in the promises that are forever not kept, a reason many stayed away from voting and vying for elective positions.

“The level of unemployment is very high,” she said, and added in reference to youth in Kenya, “Most have lost hope and turned to drugs and other vices.”

She continued still referencing the youth in Kenya, “At Linda Vijana we strive to inform them and encourage them in living virtuously, which is a hard task with all the immoral influences all around them. We really need to give more as mentors and parents as good examples, which sadly lack straight from our leadership.”

Based at Waumini House of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) in Nairobi, LVI was formed in 2020 at the height of COVID-19 pandemic that saw a spike in teen pregnancies, drug use, and violence among young people who were away from learning institutions. 

The organization is run by a team of experts including medical doctors, religious leaders, counselors and youth leaders who are versed with issues affecting young people and are armed with religious and scientific knowledge to address the issues.

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.