“Let’s pray for truth, justice”: Bishop in Kenya after Presidential Petition is Filed

Bishop Michael Odiwa of Kenya's Homabay Diocese. Credit: Courtesy Photo

A Catholic Bishop in Kenya has invited Kenyans to prayer “for the truth and justice to prevail” after petitions challenging the declaration of the country’s Deputy President, Dr. William Ruto, winner of the Presidential election, was filed in the Supreme Court.

On August 15, the chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Wafula Chebukati, declared Dr. Ruto the winner of the tight Presidential poll with 50.49% of the valid votes, against his main challenger, former Prime Minister who garnered 48.85%. 

Mr. Odinga rejected the declared presidential results and on Monday, August 22, through the political coalition he leads, Azimio La Umoja, filed a petition in Kenya’s Supreme Court seeking to have Dr. Ruto’s victory overturned. 

Eight other petitions have been filed at the Nairobi-based court, all citing illegalities and irregularities in the Presidential election results, and praying that the court overturns the win of Dr. Ruto. The petitioners include John Njoroge Kamau, Daniel Kariuki Ngari, Juliah Nyokabi Chege, Khelef Khalifa, Okiya Omtatah, Youth Advocacy Africa and Reuben Kigame.

In a Monday, August 22 statement, Bishop Michael Odiwa of Kenya’s Homabay Diocese congratulates Kenyans for coming out in numbers to elect their political leaders on August 9. 


Bishop Odiwa says, “It was our hope that the (electoral) entire process would yield verifiable and undisputable results, but as you are aware, this was not to be especially with respect to the presidential results.”

“Consequently, one of the political alliances has chosen to seek redress through the legal and constitutional means available. As we objectively observe the events unfold in their weight and depth, you are passionately asked for prayer, let’s pray for the truth and justice to prevail as a lasting peace,” says the Bishop of Homabay.

Faith leaders in the East African nation have been reaching out to key political actors in the country since the announcement of the presidential results. 

On August 17, the faith leaders who are acting under the Dialogue Reference Group (DRG) said they had a “fellowship” with the President-elect. 

They met with Mr. Odinga on August 20 in a consultative prayer meeting at his residence in Karen, Nairobi.

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In a press conference following the consultative prayer meeting, the DRG Chairperson, Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde said they had a chance to pray and to understand the former Prime Minister’s feelings concerning the outcome of the Presidential election.

“We have spent a lot of time praying and reflecting on our feelings. And while here, we have realized that Raila has a good heart and he really wants this country to move forward in peace and justice. He would also very much want for the Kenyan electorate to know the truth and what transpired during the election,” Archbishop Kivuva said.

The Local Ordinary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa who doubles as the chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops  (KCCB) relayed Mr. Odinga’s assurance that a satisfactory legal procedure and accountability on the side of IEBC would accord him the much-needed peace of mind.

“Raila and his team have assured us that they will be okay and grateful when they get the truth of what transpired,” he said, and called on Kenyans to remain calm as they await the verdict of the Supreme Court. 

“We as religious leaders urge Kenyans to be patient even as we wait for the truth to come out. Let’s not cause any form of disturbance against each other but pursue the truth with patience and humility,” Archbishop Kivuva said during the August 20 press conference that had representatives from the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) and the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) in attendance.


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.