Clerics urge leaders, Kenyans to shun violence, accept poll results

A worshipper is overcome by emotions during prayer for the country for peace at interdenominational prayers for peace ahead of the election. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Clerics have appealed to Kenyans to maintain peace before and after the elections.

Maximum Miracle Church in Mombasa pastor Joseph Bahati asked Kenyans not to spill blood even if the politicians they support lose.

“Nobody should die because of elections. We want life to continue without any disruption,” he said.

The cleric said this yesterday during a service for peaceful elections.

“I am appealing to Kenyans not to allow leaders who have lost to incite them to violence,” said Pastor Bahati.

He thanked Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga and UDA’s William Ruto for conducting peaceful campaigns.

And self-proclaimed prophet Japhet Kimanzi yesterday declared support for Raila.

Delivering a summon at Bethlehem Judah Jesus Church at Ziwa La Ngombe, pastor Kimanzi predicted that the Azimio leader will succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Meanwhile, Catholic Bishops have warned political parties against using parallel tallying centres to confuse Kenyans about the election results.

Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops Chairman Archbishop Martin Kivuva said the genuine results will be announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

“It is possible for some people to fraudulently generate their results. We, therefore, plead with all Kenyans, including the political parties, to be extremely prudent and shun any form of manipulation of tallying,” said Kivuva.

Archbishop Kivuva said this at Mombasa Cathedral Catholic church yesterday before delivering the sermon where he called on Kenyans to maintain peace during and after tomorrow’s election.

He appealed to the candidates to use legal channels to address their grievances instead of resorting to uncivil actions.

“We reiterate that any candidate or party with election grievances uses the law of the land to address them. On its part IEBC must truly be honest and transparent. Its task is to ensure that the will of Kenyan voters prevail,” said the bishop.

He told Kenyans to be ready to accept the election results because only one candidate will win.

Archbishop Kivuva advised Kenyans to be patient after casting the ballot and wait for IEBC to tall and announce the results.

He urged youths to shun politicians out to incite them to cause violence.

Archbishop Kivuva said the Catholic church leaders will also join international community to participate in the observation of the election.

“We will have many priests, including me, as observers because we are part of global society that promotes democracy for peace and development,” said Archbishop Kivuva.

Elsewhere, the Salvation Army Kenya has called on Kenyans to remain united even as the country heads to the polls tomorrow. 

Clerics led by Salvation Army Kenya East Chief Secretary Friday Ayanam urged politicians to preach peace and cohesion among Kenyans.

Lt Col Ayanam who was accompanied by Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries, Lt Col Gloria Ayanam, said the church is doing its best to bring people together and ensure peace before, during, and after the elections.

“The church is the only institution that brings together people from all walks of life and acts as the conscience of the nation. The church is still both a peacemaker and a moral authority,” Friday said.

“As a church, we remain committed to peace. We want the country to remain peaceful even after the elections, regardless of who wins. Elections are not a matter of life and death,” he added.

The Salvation Army Kenya East Chief Secretary urged Kenyans not to allow leaders to divide them along tribal lines.

Catholic Diocese of Eldoret Bishop Dominic Kimengich, appealed to Kenyans to maintain peace and avoid engaging in activities that can compromise security.

Presiding a mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral yesterday, Bishop Kimengich, said Christians should be ambassadors of peace and unity among all communities.

“I humbly appeal to you as the people of God to go out there and preach peace so that we have a peaceful election. We will be judged harshly if we don’t play our role as Christians, we must tell people the truth that elections come and go and we remain Kenyans,” he said.

He reminded the faithful that apart from being a Kalenjin, Kikuyu, Luo, Luhya, or belonging to other ethnic groups, we are one.

“Uasin Gishu has been mentioned as a hotspot, a tag, which is not good and that is why I am appealing to you to find a mechanism as Christians to ensure that peace is maintained,” the cleric said.

Bishop Kimengich asked the media to ensure they publish accurate and objective reports.

[Reports by Willis Oketch, Miki Kihaki and Peter Ochieng]