September 21st 2017

Top Stories / 2017 Elections

Catholic bishops urge Uhuru and Raila to allow IEBC conduct free polls on October 17

Bishop Anyolo also cautioned politicians whom he accused of giving remarks which appear to intimidate Chief Justice David Maraga and other Supreme Court Judges who delivered the verdict that quashed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election.

By Trizza Kimanitkimani@kenyafreepress.comWednesday, 06 Sep 2017 17:15 EAT

President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition chief Raila Odinga.

The Catholic Church said today that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should be allowed to conduct free, fair and accountable Presidential repeat elections on October 17. The Church said it will continue to stand for the strengthening of institutions and dialogue before the pending elections as ordered by the Supreme Court verdict of September 1.

The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (K.C.C.B) in a statement that was released by its chairman PhiliP Anyolo at Waumini house, Nairobi urged IEBC to work with utmost integrity to gain the confidence of the stakeholders and the citizens of Kenya.

“This is how we should show our patriotism. We must show that our minds are made, have been renewed and transformed,” he said referring to push on IEBC as it prepares to conduct the October 17, polls.

The Catholic Church released the statement as NASA Presidential candidate Raila Odinga stood firm in rejecting the October 17 polls saying the opposition outfit had not been consulted. The stand by Raila and other NASA principals forced IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati to invite the opposition leaders for talks at the Commission’s Anniversary Towers head offices.

By the time of publishing this story, the meeting between IEBC commissioners led by Chebukati and NASA leaders was underway.

On his part, Bishop Anyolo commended all Kenyans and urged them to pray for the country, live to the code and faith of the national anthem and also prevail peace, justice and prosperity.

In their statement, the Catholic Bishops opposed Raila’s call for the postponement of the National Examinations which made IEBC set the repeat polls on the set date. They noted they would not advocate for change of examination dates because of the fresh presidential polls.

They supported Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i position that the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations should not be affected by the impending polls.

“We stand by the position taken by the Education CS Dr Fred Matiang’i who stated that elections should not be held in November to ensure that does not interfere with the education annual calendar”, the statement noted.

Bishop Anyolo also cautioned politicians whom he accused of giving remarks which appear to intimidate Chief Justice David Maraga and other Supreme Court Judges who delivered the verdict that quashed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election. He stated that the independence of public institutions should be respected and warned against intimidation on those given responsibility to act on behalf of such institutions.

“Kenyans and Politicians should remain sober during this time so that we don’t embark to the 2007/8 Post Election Violence”, he concluded.

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