Bishop asks Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto and Raila Odinga not to 'spoil the peace'

Bishop Dominic Kimengich. [Fidelis Kabunyi, Standard]

Eldoret Catholic Diocese Bishop Dominic Kimengich has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga to tone down on their political utterances.

Speaking during a meeting with the International Republican Institute in Eldoret, Bishop Kimengich urged the leaders to preach peace.

“Let them (leaders) be statesmen who care about our country because utterances can spoil the peace and divide the people. It is wise that they measure their words because whatever they say influences the people,” he said.

The bishop said leaders should worry more about what happens after the Tuesday polls.

“People are afraid of the unknown and that is why we need to calm the situation. This is not done through confrontation... It is about the direction of our country and having a peaceful country after elections.”

The clergy also cautioned Kenyans against fake news, especially on social media. The Reverend Daniel Barno, the National Council of Churches of Kenya branch chairman, who spoke after addressing bloggers from the county, asked the youth not to accept to be used to propagate violence physically or through social media.

Democratic right

Bishop Kimengich also called upon the electoral commission to conduct a transparent election, while Sheikh Abubakar Bini of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya urged voters to exercise their democratic right.

Meanwhile, the Church and local leaders are working with the government agencies to maintain peace in the north rift, a region that the National Cohesion and Integration Commission has identified as a potential violence hot spot.

“We have established and trained peace committees that work with the government to ensure communities in the cosmopolitan region coexist and also exercise their democratic right of voting,” said Samuel Kosgei, the Catholic Justice and Peace Department programme coordinator in the area.

Bishop Paul Korir of ACK Kapsabet Diocese asked candidates and their supporters to accept the results.

“Those who feel dissatisfied should use the Judiciary, which enjoys the confidence of Kenyans at the moment, to resolve issues,” he said.