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Ahead of Kenya elections, concerns about peace emerge

Ahead of Kenya elections, concerns about peace emerge

Clergy, community elders, youth and women participating in the forum. Photo: AACC

03 August 2017

In a joint statement from the National Council of Churches of Kenya and the All Africa Conference of Churches, Kenyan communities expressed their hopes for peace in the lead-up to elections slated for 8 August.

More than 200 senior clergy, elders, women and youth leaders from a majority of the communities in Kenya gathered for a forum from 24-26 July.

“It is the responsibility of every Kenyan, individually and through institutions, to reject every provocation to violence,” reads the statement. “It is on this basis that we call upon all Kenyans to emphatically reject and refuse to vote for any candidate who attempts to provoke violence in the country.”

The statement also urged all eligible Kenyans to actively participate in the elections by peacefully voting, and reminded them that there will be only one winner for each contested position. “Do not believe a candidate who declares that he is the only one who can win the election,” the statement reads. “In democratic processes, each candidate has as high a chance of losing as of winning.”

The statement urged people to psychologically prepare that another candidate may win the position. “Do not participate in violence or chaos on account of your candidate of choice winning or losing at the elections,” urged the statement.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is responsible for organising and managing elections in Kenya, and the statement urges Kenyans to accept the IEBC’s results.

“We must not handle the general elections as though they are an event that will define the permanent fault lines between our communities but merely a milestone in our national conversation,” the statement concluded.

WCC member-churches in Kenya

National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK)

All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC)