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Grace For Success: Prayer Service for IEBC

AIDE MEMOIRE FROM NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES OF KENYA AND THE KENYA CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS DURING A PRAYER SERVICE FOR THE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL AND BOUNDARIES COMMISSION ON AUGUST 3, 2022, AT BOMAS OF KENYA, NAIROBI

Preamble

Hon Wafula Chebukati, Chairman of the IEBC,

We are glad and thank God for this opportunity to pray with the Commissioners and staff of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. Our theme and focus of our prayers today is that God will grant you and your team Grace for Success as you carry out your mandate of conducting Kenya’s 14th General Elections.

We commend you for the continued commitment to ensure that all the preparations for the elections have been done within the stipulated timelines. We join you in making the passionate prayer for God’s Grace to make your work a success in the words of Psalms 90: 17

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.

1. Engagement with Other Elections Related Institutions

Mr Chairman,

The religious leaders and indeed all Kenyans were concerned when in November 2021 the IEBC withdrew from the Multi Sectoral Forum on Election Preparedness and Technical Working Committee. We nonetheless have noted and appreciate that the Commission has visibly established effective relations and working arrangements with other institutions that are key to delivery of peaceful, free, fair and credible elections. We encourage you to enhance these relations.

Indeed Mr Chairman Kenyans have been reassured as they watch the Commission meet with Police and candidates in the elections and amicably resolve issues as they emerge. The engagement with the Kenyan citizenry through the daily briefings is very commendable as it lifts the veil of opacity from the elections. We continue to encourage the media to provide live coverage of the briefings as a contribution to the electoral process.

2. E-Day Procedures

Mr Chairman,

In addition to the daily briefings, we urge the Commission to intensify public communication to enhance the knowledge and capacity of the people so that they will participate effectively on day of polling. In this regard, we recommend simplified information on:

  • Procedure and flow of actions at the polling station for voters to know what to do when they arrive
  • What will be happening at every stage during the voting process so that voters and observers can monitor and notice any discrepancies
  • Procedure and flow of actions during the ballot counting and tallying
  • Procedure for voter identification and redundancy measures if a voter has challenges being identified on the KIEMS kit

3. Be Ready

Mr Chairman,

One of the lessons we have learnt from the previous General Elections is that there are candidates and supporters who will not be satisfied with the results announced. As provided for in the Constitution, such persons are allowed to file petitions in court to facilitate a judicial review of the electoral process and outcome. It is therefore conceivable to presume that different candidates are currently busy gathering data that they will use in future should they need to file petitions.

Appreciating this, we strongly encourage you and the entire team to take the measures necessary to seal any loopholes that could lead to questioning of the credibility of the elections. Such measures could include the following:

  • Gazette the guidelines for disposal of the extra Form 34A that were already printed so that they not inadvertently used
  • Ensure thorough testing of all the KIEMS kits before they are dispatched to ensure they are in working condition and have the correct data
  • Inform Kenyans, and especially stakeholders in election matters, how they can procure the gazetted Voters Register and the voter register audit report prepared by the KPMG

Conclusion

Mr Chairman

We once again appreciate this consultation, and assure you that we and our fellow religious leaders are praying for you. We are confident that the IEBC is up to the task, and that we can all work together to give Kenyans peaceful, free, fair and credible elections. It is our prayer and hope that the entire team within the IEBC will remain united working towards one goal, always listening to one another and keeping in mind the wisdom we find in Proverbs 16: 3

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

May God bless you all with wisdom and peace.

Rt Rev John Oballa Owaa

Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Ngong

And Chairman, Catholic Justice and Peace Department

Rev Canon Chris Kinyanjui

General Secretary, NCCK

December 2022
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