Head to court if unhappy with poll, clerics tell parties

Bishop John Okinda in Migori. [Caleb Kingwara, Standard]

Supporters who are dissatisfied with the results of today’s elections have been advised to file petitions in court rather than cause chaos.

John Okinda, the vice-chairman of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), said no supporter should disrupt elections or cause mayhem if the results are not as expected.

According to Bishop Okinda, elections should never be used to destroy one another. He urged the electorate to keep the peace by refusing to say or write anything that would incite hatred, anxiety, or violence.

Furthermore, he stated that children, women, and people with disabilities should be protected. He further asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to ensure credible elections.

“We don’t want a repeat of an issue where servers were in another country. They must be transparent this time,” Okinda said.

He said the Church is prepared to mediate and do everything possible to maintain peace even after the elections.

His remarks come just days after a group of activists from the International Republican Institute met with election candidates in Migori County to sign a peace treaty to ease tensions in the region.

The International Republican Institute has assembled civic organisations, business leaders, clergy, elders, and opinion shapers to form a team of “eminent persons” to assist in bringing peace.

Bishop Nelson Kongere, who chairs the group, said they met security officers, election officials, and candidates vying in Suna West, Awendo, Kuria West, and Nyatike, all of which have seen violence, deaths, and gun drama among candidates and their supporters.