The Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) has urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to shun politics and focus on delivering a peaceful leadership transition to the country.
This follows President Kenyatta’s recent remarks which clearly indicated that he will side with the Azimio La Umoja movement headed by Hon. Raila Odinga.
Speaking after attending the annual retreat of the ACK house of bishops at Likoni in Mombasa county today, the clerics led by Jackson Ole Sapit urged President Kenyatta, deputy president William Ruto, ODM leader Raila Odinga, and other leaders to tone down the emotions associated with the ongoing campaigns.
“We urge President Uhuru Kenyatta to make necessary sacrifices and rise above partisan politics. Being the father figure of the nation, we encourage and urge him to remain the focal point for national unity, as he leads the nation.
“We also appeal to all and sundry to respect the person and office of the president, that our politics is conducted with dignity and decorum,” said the bishops in a statement.
Archbishop Sapit noted that political leaders have a special responsibility of promoting issue-based and sober campaigns that will save the country from catastrophe in the elections or in the post-election period.
At the same time, the bishops called upon the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to make adequate preparations to ensure that the results of the next general elections are widely accepted to save the country from a prolonged electioneering period.
They particularly told the commission to have a multi-sectoral monthly reporting system on the state of the preparedness and set up a multi-agency working mechanism with other commissions to ensure that bribery, misuse of government resources, incitement, hate speech, and election offenses are all dealt with in a timely manner.
They also want IEBC to set up a system of curbing gender-based violence and ensuring that the campaigns are peaceful and free from violence. The bishops told IEBC to prepare the voters’ register in order to avoid confusion on the voting day.
The clergy appealed to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to work with all leaders to curb incitement and inflammatory statements by politicians which they said could lead to election results being rejected, triggering possible protests that could plunge the country into deep trouble.