Poll losers urged to seek legal redress
The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) National Chairman and Mombasa Catholic Archbishop Martin Kivuva has asked politicians who will be dissatisfied with the outcome of tomorrow’s election to seek redress in court.
He said failure to publicly accept election results may plunge the country into chaos.
“Only one candidate will win in any of the elective positions. We must, therefore, be ready to accept election results as the choice of the people. We urge all candidates to be measured in expressing their emotions of victory or defeat,” he said.
Kivuva said past elections have been characterised by violence and that should not be allowed to recur this time round.
“They had the time to campaign, so they should calm down and wait for Kenyans to participate in the elections and wait for results. If they feel aggrieved in any way, we have the courts. They should go that direction, not incite people,” said Kivuva.
The cleric, who delivered a peace message during the Sunday mass at the Holy Ghost Cathedral Church in Mombasa, also asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to embrace accountability and deliver credible elections.
“We are satisfied with their preparations and we are encouraging them to do their work transparently and not to be swayed by any influence. They have a task to ensure the will of Kenyans prevail. We expect nothing short of free, fair and credible elections,” said Kivuva.
The bishop also asked leaders to steer the nation towards peace, whichever the outcome of tomorrow’s voting.
“What we are asking is that all relevant agencies should put in place measures that will see a successful process,” he said.
Kivuva warned that parallel tallying of election results can cause confusion and tension in the country.
“Parallel tallying centres must not be used as means of confusing Kenyans on legitimate outcomes. In this era of fake news and deceit, it’s possible for some people to fraudulently generate their results. We therefore ask Kenyans to shun any form of manipulation,” he said.
He urged fellow clerics to come together and pray for a peaceful leadership transition.
The Archbishop also rallied Kenyans to come out in large numbers and exercise their democratic right.
He cautioned the youth against being used to perpetrate chaos during and after the elections.
“Youth are vulnerable to chaos due to their economic challenges,” he said.
“To achieve your dreams, you must come out and ensure peace prevails at all times. Politicians take advantage of your vulnerabilities, at times your current financial weakness. We plead with you to say no to all manipulations that put you on path of violence,” said Kivuva.
He cautioned the media and election observers to abstain from biases, but only share information that is factual to avoid causing conflict.
The bishop encouraged communicators to verify information before sharing it with the public.
Elsewhere, an advocacy group has called on Kenyans to embrace peace. Peace, Reconciliation and Rehabilitation Initiative (PRARI) director Wilson Gathungu said the election day is just an event after which normal life will resume.
“We will all go back to our common life, borrowing salt, unga and even fire from each other as neighbours,” he said during a peace event in Molo, Nakuru County.
According to Gathungu, PRARI has been mobilizing communities in the greater Molo district for the last three months and sensitising them on drawbacks of violence and the benefits of coexistence.
Molo Pastors fellowship was also involved in the activities that saw residents hold a peace parade in the streets of the town.
“The pastors and community leaders conducted prayers and delivered peace messages,” he said.
Gathungu cautioned that any such election-related conflict would tear the country apart. “Kenya cannot afford any conflict.”