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Catholic bishops want referendum after 2022 poll, respect for Judiciary

NATIONAL
By Julius Chepkwony | May 27th 2021
Kenya Conference of Catholic bishops Chairman Most Rev Martin Kivuva of Mombasa Archdiocese (right) with Rev.Philip Anyolo of Kisumu Diocese addressing the press at Marian National Shrine in Subukia, Nakuru County on May 27, 2021. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Catholic bishops have urged the Executive and electoral commission to ensure the country goes to the 2022 General Elections as required by the law.

The newly elected chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Martin Kivuva said it was the desire of Kenyans that the polls are held in August 2022.

They proposed that the current push to amend the constitution be shelved until after the 2022 elections saying this will ensure a democratic, lawful and inclusive process.

"In the meantime, Kenyans should pursue through parliament, some essential reforms to ensure a peaceful, progressive, and prosperous country in the lead up to and after the 2022 polls,"  the statement read by Bishop Martin Kivuva of Mombasa diocese stated in part.

“We demand that the next year's elections proceed as provided for in the constitution, and no thought of postponing it should be entertained,” the statement read further.

On the restructuring of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the bishops urged that the process be expedited so that Kenyans would go to the poll confident and assured of a free, transparent and fair process.

On the ongoing case against the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Constitutional (Amendment) Bill 2020, the church leaders said the attacks on judges following the verdict were uncalled for.

"Some of these reactions, especially the personalized attacks on the High Court judges are unacceptable in a civilised society. This is an affront on the independence of the Judiciary," the bishops said.

They called for sobriety in all engagements over the decision of the court to avoid polarizing the country at such a difficult time when the country is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

They stated that leaders must uphold the rule of law and show respect for institutions.

The Catholic Bishops noted that as the fate of the BBI goes through the court process, it is important for Kenyans to bear in mind that it may not be possible to hold a referendum before August.

 

Download the BBI Judgement by all seven Judges - Civil Appeal No. E291 of 2021
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