Press Statement

The Executive Committee of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has met here at Jumuia Conference and Country Home, Limuru, for a two-day meeting to review the level of preparedness for the General Elections to be held on 8th August 2017 and discuss matters of national importance. We took time to reflect on the scripture recorded in Jeremiah 29: 7
Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.
We were reminded and wish to let all Kenyans know that each of us has an obligation to seek and pray for the peace and prosperity of Kenya. Our own personal safety and prosperity and that of our families are dependent on the peace and prosperity of the whole nation. God does not expect us to destroy the land and nation He has caused us to live in.
Appreciating that the next General Elections will be held only five days from today, we wish to share the following words of encouragement with all citizens of Kenya.

1. Message of Condolence
This Executive Committee sends heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Chris Msando who was brutally murdered over the weekend.
Considering the key position he held in the Information, Communication and Technology operations of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), we call upon the relevant state institutions to ensure speedy investigations and prosecution of the perpetrators of this heinous crime. The inevitable speculations that are really not useful in a charged environment must be stemmed.
Further, we call upon the government to practically implement the promise to provide security for all the IEBC officials and staff and ensure that no criminals succeed in undermining the credibility of the coming elections. On our part, we have and shall continue praying for the staff of the IEBC and trust that God will protect them as they execute their mandate, and also for the bereaved families.

2. Turn Out to Vote
This Executive Committee expresses satisfaction with the efforts and level of preparedness demonstrated by the IEBC for the General Elections scheduled for Tuesday next week.
We also strongly commend all Kenyans for conducting themselves with peace and decorum during the electoral period. We now encourage every registered voter to peacefully turn out to vote and respect fully the democratic rights of other voters regardless of the waves that may be sweeping across the various political strongholds. To achieve this apex of democratic maturity, we counsel voters to follow the guidelines provided by the IEBC officials prior to, during and after the elections.

3. Assurance of Peace and Security
This Executive Committee notes that the campaigns leading to these General Elections have been intense. Candidates have employed all manner of tactics in their efforts to win over voters, resulting in extremely high levels of tension and polarization in the country. However, the ambitions of a few candidates must not be a reason for us to destroy our nation, and ourselves with it.
We therefore call upon all candidates at all levels to explicitly state that they will accept the results announced by the IEBC, or exercise their right to file petitions in court if dissatisfied. Each candidate should also inform his / her supporters to respond sensitively and peacefully to the results of the elections.
On their part, we urge His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and Rt. Hon Raila Odinga to address the nation before the end of the campaign period with a goal of deflating the tension and sobering up their supporters. Their addresses must also reassure Kenyans that the sentiments they expressed during the campaigns were political contests and not provocation to divisions and violence.
In addition, we call upon Kenyans to celebrate candidates who win with grace and moderation, bearing in mind that there will be many Kenyans whose candidates will have lost and will be hurting.
Further, we counsel that governments that are elected, at both county and national levels, should endeavor to be authentically inclusive and reflect the face of Kenya. No section or group of Kenyans should be excluded on account of who they are perceived to have supported during the elections.

4. Secure the Security Agencies
This Executive Committee has followed with trepidation the persistent discussions touching on the capacity of the security agencies in the country to execute their mandates effectively with regard to the General Elections. Frequent public pronouncements by political actors have attempted to project the National Police Service, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the National Intelligence Service, and now the Kenya Defense Forces as politically aligned.
We challenge the security agencies and the KDF to conduct themselves within the law and serve all Kenyans equally without fear or favour. They must also refuse to be intimidated by politicians across the divide many of who have not demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and peace.
On our part, we celebrate and commend the National Police Service for ensuring that the country was peaceful during the campaign period.

5. Safeguard Women and Persons With Disabilities Candidates
This Executive Committee expresses concern that women and Persons with Disabilities candidates are experiencing extreme levels of intimidation and violence. This is a major challenge considering that these categories of candidates are already very few. We thus call upon the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) and the National Police Service to put in place special focus on them to ensure that they have adequate protection as they finalize their campaigns. We also urge the women who have been active in political parties and community leadership and were left out of the party nomination lists to file petitions within the allotted time frame.

6. Commit to Revisit the Governance Structures in Our Constitution
This Executive Committee notes that the toxicity, anxiety and rhetoric that has characterized the election strategies in our communities suggests that the current governance structures have not satisfied the aspirations of a majority of Kenyans. This is hindering the realization of our national integrity, political, social, economic and cultural aspirations.
We urge that whoever forms the next government coordinates national energies towards an authentic and inclusive conversation of all Kenyans to agree on a structure of national governance that is more unifying. The gaps and contradictions in our Constitution must be addressed so that we can free our country to realize its potential.

7. Conclusion
We conclude by remembering that Kenyans once again have an opportunity to put in place the political leadership that will be in office for the next five years. As is stipulated in the Constitution of Kenya 2010, each of us has an obligation to make this process of electing political leaders credible, free, fair and peaceful.
And now we pronounce on every Kenyan the words of Numbers 6: 24 – 26
The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Signed on this 2nd day of August 2017 at Jumuia Conference and Country Home, Limuru

Rev Canon Rosemary Mbogoh
Rev Canon Peter Karanja
General Secretary