To transform lives through ecumenism, capacity building, advocacy and service delivery.
One Church; United in Faith and Mission Witnessing to Jesus Christ and Transforming Lives.
In pursuing its Christian calling, the Council shall uphold:
The General Secretary Reverend Canon Peter Karanja & his deputy Dr. Nelson Makanda pose for a group photo with Myoot Council of Elders after a 2-day forum on peaceful elections.
Towards Peaceful and Credible Elections in Kenya
Kalenjin Clergy and Elders Intra-Ethnic Dialogue Forum
Clergy and Elders drawn from the Kalenjin community have met here at RCEA Guest House, Eldoret, on 21st and 22nd February 2017 to reflect on and support the imperative for peace before, during and after the coming General Elections.
They took time to reflect on the scripture recorded in Romans 14: 19 – “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification”.
Prevailing Political Environment
The participants noted that as the country strides nearer the August 2017 General Elections, political mobilization is taking center stage with every worrying results. There is increased polarization between ethnic groups and political camps by intensifying tension and conflicts.
The impact of this polarization is being witnessed in the frequency and ferocity of inter-ethnic attacks in our region and other parts of the country. Further, there are more and more instances of political intolerance where politicians and aspirants are barred from campaigning in particular areas.
This emerging scenario is a matter of concern due to its potential to result in violence during this period before, during and after the General Elections.
Threats to Peace
Specifically, this forum identified the following factors that have a potential to cause violence between and within communities during the electoral process:
a) Hate speech and Careless utterances by politicians and aspirants
b) Voter manipulation especially buying of Identity Cards to stop them from voting and migration of voters
c) Ethnic oriented political mobilization and political zoning
d) Boundary disputes and other aspects of insecurity
e) Incitement of youth by politicians and aspirants
f) Propaganda and rumours touching on the candidates and elections
g) Disappointment after building high expectations with regard to results
h) Challenges on the voting day including delayed delivery of ballots and machine failure
i) Rejection of results
j) Extended celebrations by the winning parties
Taking into consideration the implications of these triggers of violence, the participants in this forum agreed on various actions to be undertaken after today so as to mitigate the potential. These activities will be organized and undertaken through the Myoot Council of Elders.
a) Provide Civic and Voter Education
The Clergy and Elders will use the opportunities available to them to provide civic education to community members so that they promote peace. Voter education will be provided so that community members are ready to participate in the voting. This will be done in partnership with other stakeholders including the county and national governments as well as NCCK.
b) Undertake Advocacy with political leaders
The Clergy and Elders will hold regular meetings with political leaders and aspirants to implore them to embrace peace during campaigns and after the elections. In the cases where conflicts emerge, the Clergy and Elders will mediate between the conflicting parties so as to facilitate peace. Where necessary, the Myoot Council will task Sub Councils to deal with conflicts in their jurisdictions.
c) Media Advocacy
The Clergy and Elders, through the Myoot Council, will regularly address the media to promote peace and denounce violence. Efforts will be made to criminalize any individuals who are found to be inciting or participating in violence during the electoral period.
d) Advocacy with Community Members
The Clergy and Elders will hold regular meetings with community leaders, including men, women and youth, with a goal of inspiring them to support peace and resist incitement to violence.
This forum appreciates that Clergy and Elders are key players in the community especially in the promotion of peaceful coexistence within and between communities. The participants have committed to undertake the agreed upon activities within this intervening period before the elections.
May God bless Kenya always.
Signed on this 22nd day of February 2017 at RCEA Guest House, Eldoret.