KENYA: Elections are not a matter of life and death
The Inter-Religious Council of Kenya through the Kenya Inter-Faith Elections Programme (KIEP) has warned against early political campaigns noting that, “this trend portends ill for our nation.”
In a press statement sent to CISA, the council expressed disgust that “politicians and aspirants at different levels are creating militias whose sole intent is to visit violence on Kenyans…This must be stopped forthwith,” the statement said.
“… We are in constant touch with what is happening on the ground, and we are now concerned about the trend that the current wave of politicking is taking. We, therefore, urge all politicians and their vested interests to cease making elections a matter of life and death for Kenyans,” the statement said.
The press release titled Prepare for Kenya’s 2017 General Elections called upon the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to commit to operating transparently and be accountable to Kenyans.
“Any shortcomings in the elections are in essence a failure on the Commission to implement its mandate,” the statement said noting that up to date, the IEBC has not clarified specifically what it holds as the Principal Voter’s Register.
The council also called upon the IEBC to inform Kenyans of the measures they have taken to ensure that all the electronic devices required for the 2017 General Elections will function as they should.
The statement further decries the misuse of social media to stoke ethnic prejudices and balkanization, counselling Kenyans that, “the best security against those who are hell bent on destroying our national cohesion is to speak out against those messages and reject leaders who espouse the same,” Inter-Religious Council emphasises.
In 2007, Kenya erupted into political and ethnic-related violence following disputed presidential elections. The country was on the brink of a civil war. Some estimates say between 800 to 1500 persons were killed while between 180 – 600 000 were displaced from their homes.
(CISA in Nairobi/Vatican Radio)