Press Statement

The Executive Committee of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has met here at Jumuia Hotel, Kisumu, for a two-day meeting to transact statutory business and discuss matters of national importance. During the meeting, we reflected on Joshua 9: 1 – 27 which describes how Joshua and the leaders of Israel were deceived by the Gibeonites when they made an agreement without praying and seeking God’s guidance first.
We especially took to mind the inspiration of Proverbs 16: 3 – “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will prosper”. We commend this scripture to all Kenyans as we approach the 8th August General Elections.
We appreciated that elections are the vehicle that Kenyans have chosen to use to select men and women who will be their political leaders for a period of five years.

1. Scenarios of Kenya after 8th August Elections
This Executive Committee, learning from our history and that of other nations, recognizes that one of four scenarios will emerge in Kenya after the 8th August General Elections. These are:
Scenario Causes Mitigation
Scenario 1: Good Elections, Followed by Violence IEBC conducts good elections
Failure by dissatisfied actors to take electoral results disputes to court and instead incite violence Commitment by all actors to accept the IEBC results
Commitment by all actors to take disputes to court
Resolve of all Kenyans to refuse to be incited to violence because of disputes that can be resolved constitutionally and legally
Scenario 2: Bad Elections, Followed by Violence Elections deemed not credible
Dysfunction of electoral systems IEBC to ensure all electoral systems are functional, staff well trained, competent properly supervised and non-partisan
Scenario 3: Bad Elections, Followed by Negative Peace (Enforced) Dysfunction of electoral systems
Dissent forcefully suppressed, or,
Dissenters urged to Accept and Move On IEBC to ensure all electoral systems are functional, staff well trained, competent and non-partisan
Scenario 4: Good Elections, Followed by Peace IEBC conducts good elections
Elections Results accepted by all actors
Results disputes resolved through courts IEBC commitment to deliver credible elections
All actors commit to operate within the law
Kenyans refuse to be incited to violence

It is our prayer that, Scenario 4 will emerge as the reality of Kenya after the General Elections.
To facilitate the achievement of this goal, we wish to share the following messages:

A. Message to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission
Dear Commissioners and Secretariat of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), this Executive Committee exhorts you to remember the privileged position you hold in our nation. As history has shown, the actions and performance of the electoral management body is a contributor to peace, disaffection or disillusionment. We call upon you to take counsel from Proverbs 29:4 – “By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down”.
In all your operations, you must endeavor to act justly and compel all your staff to be seen to have done so. To achieve this, we urge you to consider and act on three critical issues:

i) Voters’ Register
A concise and verifiable voters’ register is the bedrock of credible elections. We therefore urge you to publicly release the Voters’ Register Audit report as Kenyans await the corrected register on 11th July as you earlier promised. It is important that you constantly appraise and update Kenyans on your processes to reassure them that the register is devoid of all anomalies.

ii) Kenya Integrated Elections Management System
At the heart of the electoral disputes that emerged in 2007 and 2013 were the perceived delays in announcement of results leading to accusations of the same being manipulated during transmission. The dramatic failure of Electronic Voter Identification Devices in 2013 was a great disappointment to Kenyans. You must ensure that this disappointment is not repeated in 2017. In this regard, we urge you to move with speed and conduct a national verification and testing exercise of the entire system. This will assure Kenyans on the functionality of the entire system.

iii) Enforcement of the Law
We appreciate that you as the Commissioners are the primary custodians of the electoral laws of Kenya. It continues to surprise Kenyans that there is rampant violation of the same laws across the country in the ongoing campaigns. Kenyans are eagerly waiting the day you will punish all the offenders. The imposition of fines on those found guilty of infringements last week is a step in the right direction but for a wealthy politicians’ club as we have today, you need to move and apply penalties that none can afford to buy.

B. Message to All Candidates in the August 2017 Elections
This Executive Committee wishes to share the following message with all candidates at all electoral levels: Your ambition and desire for power must not be an excuse to incite Kenyans against one another.
We especially wish to specifically address His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Presidential candidate for Jubilee Party, and Hon Raila Odinga, the Presidential candidate for National Super Alliance. Dear Sirs, we wish to remind you that you have a cardinal responsibility to restrain yourselves and reign in your troops and ensure that they tone down on their divisive rhetoric. It is our conviction that you shall be held responsible for any eventuality that befall Kenyans.
On our part as religious leaders, we have committed ourselves to publicly denounce anyone who chooses to set up this country for conflict and violence.

C. Message to Kenyans
Our dear brothers and sisters, we wish to encourage you to prepare to participate in the coming elections, and to determine to elect only the men and women who meet strict character traits. It is your right to vote as you like, but in so doing, you should stop playing prefect and respect the right of others to vote as the like and for candidates other than those you prefer.
We urge you to look beyond your tribe or clan and vote for a person who will be of benefit to your Ward, Constituency, County and Country.
And above all, refuse to be incited to engage in violent activities against other Kenyans. This country cannot afford a spiral of chaos and by being violent, you expose all Kenyans to potential retaliatory and police violence, which response you may not know how to stop.
Further, we wish to warn you that there are many individuals spreading false and often malicious news through social media. These are careless persons who only want to provoke hatred and violence between you and other Kenyans. It would be prudent to dismiss and treat with the contempt it deserves all ethnic bigotry and incitement that you receive.

D. Message to State and National Agencies
This Executive Committee calls upon all the agencies that have a role to play in the elections to execute their mandates effectively and justly. These include the National Police Service, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Judiciary, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, the Kenya National Commission for Human Rights, and the Communications Authority of Kenya.
We urge the leadership of each agency to remember that your primary duty is to ensure Kenyans operate within the provisions of law and order. You risk letting the country degenerate to chaos and violence by your complicity in the face of hate speech and possible mobilization of illegal gangs by political actors at the different electoral levels.

E. Message to Elections Stakeholders regarding parallel results tallying
This Executive Committee recognizes that the Constitution of Kenya 2010 mandates only the IEBC to count, tally and announce election results. All other parties can tally the results if they so wish, but they must not engage the public at any time with those tallies. Such tallies can be best used as evidence should the concerned actors file petitions in court if they are dissatisfied with the results that are announced.
No Kenyan should be allowed to engage in illegal and destructive activities on account of results tallies by coalitions or any other actors.

2. Other matters of National Concern
Beyond the coming General Elections, this Executive Committee wishes to highlight the following issues that are of national concern:
A. Food Security
The Constitution of Kenya 2010 states in Article 43 (1) (c) that every person has a right to “be free from hunger, and to have adequate food of acceptable quality”. It is the responsibility of the state to ensure that this right is enforced, just as all the other elements of the Bill of Rights.
For this reason, we call on the government to expedite the measures necessary to ensure that no Kenyan sleeps hungry again. Further, the government must take visible punitive action on all its officers who allowed the food security in the country to deteriorate to the level where Kenyans are fighting for maize flour in shops. No one should contribute by commission or omission to such a scenario and be allowed to go scot free.

B. Industrial Action in the Health Sector
This Executive Committee is greatly concerned about the recurrent strikes by staff in the health sector. We call upon the County Governments, who as per the Constitution of Kenya 2010 are the employers of medical personnel, to speedily resolve the personnel issues to stop further suffering among Kenyans.
On our part, we take this opportunity to thank all Kenyans and especially the residents of Vihiga and neighbouring counties who attended the dedication and official opening of Jumuia Friends Hospital, Kaimosi, last Sunday. The opening of the Hospital is a statement of our commitment to provide social services to Kenyans so as to promote the well being of every person.

3. Conclusion
This Executive Committee is seized of the fact that the General Elections are only 40 days away. All Kenyans must realize that the date is very near and to ensure that they add value to our national life, everyone must step out and mobilize your compatriots to vote and do so peacefully and within the confines of the law.
We also urge every shrine of worship of all our religions and every Kenyan to intensify intercessory prayers for Kenya, our national elections and needs.
May God bless Kenya and be with us always.

Signed on this 27th day of June 2017 at Jumuia Hotel, Kisumu

Rev Canon Rosemary Mbogoh

Rev Canon Peter Karanja
General Secretary