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 Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Mr. Wafula Chebukati & NCCK General Secretary Reverend Canon Peter Karanja pose for a group photo with delegates during a three-day Nairobi County Clergy and Religious Forum held at Jumuia Conference and Country Home, Limuru
Securing Elections 2017
Nairobi County Clergy and Elders’ Consultative Forum
About 400 clergy and community leaders drawn from all the Wards in Nairobi County have met at Jumuia Conference and Country Home, Limuru, from 2nd – 4th April 2017 to reflect on strategies to ensure that the 2017 elections are peaceful, credible, free and fair. The leaders, who included faith leaders from Christian and Muslim communities, Councils of Elders, Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities leaders, were drawn from various ethnic communities including the Abagusii, Coast Communities, GEMA, Kalenjin, Kamba, Kuria, Luhya, Luo, Maasai, Nubian and Somali. The various community leaders are collectively referred to as Elders in these Resolutions.
During this forum, the participants appreciated that in the past, Kenyans have exercised elections of animosity, in which citizens were mobilized, not on the basis of who to vote for, but on the basis of who not to vote for. The result has been pervasive negative stereotypes that are perpetuated for the purpose of ethnicity-based political mobilization. This approach needs to be reversed for our nation to witness peaceful and credible elections that will herald transformative leadership that will benefit all Kenyans.
Towards this goal, the Clergy and Elders were facilitated to have safe space to engage in free and open intra and inter ethnic discussions in which they identified the specific interests of each community in the 2017 General Elections. The participants also identified strategies and specific activities they will engage in at the Constituency level so as to secure the elections.
Aspirations of Nairobi County Residents
During the intra and inter ethnic consultations, the Clergy and Elders appreciated that the different communities have common aspirations and expectations as regards the Elections 2017. Overall, the main desire by the residents of Nairobi County is Peaceful, Credible, Free and Fair elections that will result in the election of Responsible, Value-Based leaders. This will lead to good governance marked by integrity and accountability as well as equitable, merit-based distribution of resources and development.
However, the participants noted, this aspiration is being threatened by political aspirants and their supporters who are engaging in destructive practices that include:
i) Hate speech
ii) Incitement to violence
iii) Creation and sponsorship of militia groups to unleash violence on opponents
iv) Promoting economic sabotage of perceived supporters of one’s opponents
v) Threats to reject results and cause chaos if one does not win
The Forum also recognized that the General Election itself is facing various challenges that could rob it of credibility and thus render the results unacceptable. These challenges include:
i) The growing uncertainty as to whether an acceptable Voters Register will be in place for the elections
ii) The delays in procurement of essential systems and elections-related technologies could result in elections that fail to meet the constitutional and legislative standards
iii) The widespread insecurity that is a fertile breeding ground for political militias that are disenfranchising the voters
Interventions to Secure Elections 2017
Learning from the history of Kenya, it is the individual citizens who have to live with the consequences and outcomes of elections. The terrible impact of the Post Election Violence of 2007/2008 is still fresh in the minds of Kenyans. Appreciating this, the Clergy and Elders participating in this Forum resolved to take the following actions:
1. Civic Education
The leaders will use the resources and opportunities available to them to provide civic education to the residents of Nairobi County. The goal of this civic education will be to empower community members to recognize and support leaders who have a commitment to National Values and integrity, and who will ensure good governance. Ethnic based politics will be firmly rejected.
Alongside this will be voter education aimed at ensuring that the residents understand the electoral process so that they can individually and collectively identify and resist electoral offences.
2. Peace Advocacy
The leaders will use the resources and opportunities available to them to preach peace and peaceful coexistence between the different communities. This will include door to door community sensitization outreaches. In addition, the faith leaders will preach peace-based sermons and will organize inter-ethnic consultations in their religious premises so as to bring communities together. Special attention will be put on reaching the youth to empower them so that they are not used to perpetrate violence on fellow Kenyans.
3. Cooperation with Security Agencies
The Clergy and Elders will cooperate with security agencies to safeguard the peace and wellbeing of all community members. It is recognizable that no person can incite violence and ethnic hatred without the clergy and elders knowing, and they have committed to expose such persons for relevant action to be taken.
4. Organize Aspirant Debates
The Clergy and Elders will corporately organize forums where aspirants will be given opportunities to expound their manifestos, and where citizens will have a chance to hold them to account. These will be organized at Ward, Constituency and County levels.
The Bible in Jeremiah 22: 13 warns: “Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his countrymen work for nothing, not paying them for their labour”. We as Clergy and Elders have committed that we will not support the election of any leader who engages in acts of injustice, for we do not want to partake in their punishment. We will do all that we can in order to Secure Elections 2017 so that Kenya gets the best leaders possible.
May God bless Kenya now and forever more.
Signed on this 4th day of April 2017 at Jumuia Conference and Country Home, Limuru.
Rt Rev Julius Wanyoike
Chairman, Nairobi Regional Coordinating Committee