Presidential candidates pledge to uphold peace in polls

Makau Mutua, Waihiga Mwaure, Veronica Maina and Sam Mucheru. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Presidential contenders have committed to uphold peace during the campaign period ahead of the August 9 contest.

United Democratic Alliance’s William Ruto, Azimio la Umoja’s Raila Odinga, Agano’s Mwaure Waihiga and Roots Party’s George Wajackoyah signed the Leadership and Peace Pledge by Mkenya Daima and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission’s Political Decency and Peace Charter.

The charter bind the candidates, political parties and supporters to peaceful electioneering and accountable leadership before, during and after the elections. The agreements were signed during the Political Decency and Accountability Forum 2022 held at KICC, Nairobi, yesterday.

Mkenya Daima is an initiative by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance aiming for a peaceful election and smooth transition.

Mkenya Daima chairman Vimal Shah said Kenyans should be responsible and choose the right leaders, and ensure the country remains peaceful.

“After the polls, we will remain brothers and sisters. Let us shun the mindset that life begins and ends with elections because that is false,” Dr Shah said.

Mkenya Daima Chair Vimal Shah (left) with Kenya KEPSA Chairperson Flora Mutahi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The pact signed by the four presidential candidates includes commitments to adhere to the Constitution, especially Chapter 6 on leadership and integrity, and Article 10 on national values and principles of governance.

The candidates should practise and advocate political decency, accountability, respect for human dignity and difference of opinion, and freedom of association and speech.

NCIC and Mkenya Daima have bound the candidates to use a language of peace, inclusivity, respect, culturally sensitive, educative, and issue-based.

Signing the pact also means Ruto, Raila, Wajackoyah and Mwaura have sworn not to engage in hate speech or use insults, and provocative language during their campaigns.

Further, they will not give any form of inducement or bribery including money, alcohol, drugs or any other substance to influence elections.

None of the candidates, apart from Mwaure, were present at KICC. Raila was represented by his campaign spokesperson Makau Mutua, UDA Secretary-General Veronica Maina stood in for Ruto while Wajackoyah was represented by Roots Party’s Sam Mucheru. Raila and Ruto had signed their oaths beforehand. 

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

NCIC chairman Samuel Kobia said it could not be understated that all parties participating in the election had committed themselves not only to peace but also to political decency.

“I congratulate all the leaders who have today stood up for a better Kenya. They have set aside all political divides to come and agree to a better Kenya through decency. I commend them,” he said.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said while the commission was committed to conducting a free and fair election, it needed the right environment.

“We want to assure the country that we are well prepared to deliver free, fair, verifiable and credible elections. But this