COMMUNIQUÉ BY MOST REV. PHILIP A. ANYOLO, METROPOLITAN ARCHBISHOP OF NAIROBI DURING THE CEREMONY OF IMPOSITION OF THE PALLIUM
Dear Christians and Kenyans of goodwill
I bring you greetings and a message of peace as we, as a country count hours to the general election. We thank God for bringing us this far and yet again enabling us to participate in this noble civic and patriotic duty.
From the onset, I take note of the largely peaceful and issue-based conduct of campaigns by a majority of leaders seeking various elective seats. That is commendable. It confirms that our democracy is growing. Unfortunately, we have witnessed some instances of hateful messaging and name-calling. This is not the democracy we desire. Insults, mudslinging, hateful messaging, and profiling must never be part of our democracy.
Brothers and sisters, as we go to the ballot on Tuesday, as your shepherd, from the onset I appeal to you to turn out in large numbers and exercise your democratic right. This is a God-given opportunity to have your voice heard. This is your opportunity to determine the kind of leaders who will govern our country and make critical policy and administrative decisions on our behalf for the next five years. I urge you all to go out and vote peacefully and return home. Do not fail to vote. Doing so will be short-circuiting democracy. Not voting is not a sign of strength but a confirmation of surrender.
We have an opportunity to elect conscious, value-driven, honest, progressive-minded, and God-fearing leaders. We also have an opportunity to reject those who fan division, loot public resources, and advance retrogressive ideals. The choice is ours.
Above everything else, let us vote peacefully. Let us be mindful of each other. Let us be our brothers and sisters keepers. Remember we have a country beyond 9th August 2022. Refuse any form of incitement to cause or engage in violence.
Like any sport, an election produces winners and losers. For those who will be elected, be magnanimous in victory and extend a hand of goodwill to those who will not have been successful. That way, everyone will be a winner. Kenya will be the winner. Kenyans will be the winners. We pray that the winners will bring to fruition the promises they made for the good of our country.
I urge all those who are seeking elective posts to accept the results. Moreover, for those who will not be elected, take it in stride. There will be many other opportunities ahead. Losing is not the end. If there will be any misunderstanding, kindly take the matter to the court for resolution. Let us be ready to embrace dialogue. Our constitution provides an avenue for seeking redress in court, through the filing of petitions.
Ultimately, as your shepherd, I urge you to prepare to live beyond the 9th of August. It is possible for the person you support to lose and the candidate you do not support to win or vice versa. Whichever way the polls go, remember Kenya, like a plane, will be landing on Tuesday 9th august at 6 am. All of us; IEBC, voters, candidates, the Church, security agents the media, have a role to play in ensuring that the landing is smooth and safe. Let us play our part and remain peaceful.
I call upon the media that is in charge of communication, and all those who will guide the electoral process, to reflect carefully on the greater good they can do to the nation’s cohesion. Kindly strive toward setting up suitable, authentic, and reliable systems in your task of providing correct information to the Kenyans. Make your information to be full, consistent, accurate, and true. This will make Kenyans partners in the growth of peace and human race. (Popurolum Progressio no.19).
We urge the Electoral Commission (IEBC) to conduct the General Election with utmost fidelity to the law and do everything possible to deliver a free, fair, credible, and verifiable election. We urge the commission to facilitate a smooth electoral process that will make it easy for Kenyans to participate freely and systematically.
To the security agencies, do your best to keep the country safe and create an enabling environment for all Kenyans to participate in the elections without intimidation, blackmail or fear.
Finally, as your shepherd, I pray for divine guidance, peace, and unity.
God bless you all, God bless our Beautiful Country Kenya.