Thank you Kenyans for Voting Peacefully
August 10, 2022
Message of Hope
We, the religious leaders, take this moment to deeply thank all Kenyans for heeding our call and voting peacefully during the polls held today August 9, 2022. This manifestation of political and social responsibility is commendable, knowing that God appreciates those who keep peace, as we read in Matthew 5: 9
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
We thank God that the whole process has so far been encouraging. As we start receiving results from various polling stations, we have the following points to reflect on together:
1. Voting Process
Throughout the day, we received reports from more than 3,000 observers spread across the country. These reports indicate that although there were some logistical and technological hitches, polling progressed well in most of the stations. We commend the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for putting in place a structure to ensure efficiency in the process.
We are however concerned that elections were suspended in some parts of the country. We urge the voters and candidates in the affected areas to remain peaceful and patient as they await the opportunity to vote for their leaders, which the IEBC has announced will be done soonest possible.
2. Counting and Tallying
Following the closure of polling stations across the country, the electoral process has now shifted to counting and tallying of the votes. We call upon all the IEBC officials, agents of political parties and candidates, and all others involved in the process to exercise the highest possible levels of transparency, accountability and accuracy. It will be an affront to Kenyans if the ballots they cast so faithfully are miscounted.
Whereas the IEBC is constitutionally mandated to declare results, other actors have been allowed to undertake parallel tallying. We ask all who do so and broadcast their findings to continually inform their audiences that such results are provisional. This is to ensure that mistakes made by specific institutions do not mislead the public.
3. Dealing With Results
Constitutional democracies such as Kenya are premised on competitive elections which produce winners and losers. We therefore call upon all candidates, supporters and commentators to carefully consider their words and actions in response to the results that are announced.
Recognizing that every Kenyan has a role to play in the betterment of our society, we encourage both winners and losers to accept the will of the people.
As provided for in law, any candidate or Kenyan who is dissatisfied with the results may seek legal redress. No one should incite Kenyans to engage in violence on account of the election results.
Let us all remember the word of God recorded in 1 Peter 3: 10 – 11
Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.
The religious leaders and institutions remain available to provide pastoral care, support and counseling to all the candidates and supporterss.
4. Uphold Peace and National Cohesion
The peace witnessed across the country today is a positive sign of hope for all Kenyans. We encourage all actors and stakeholders to act responsibly and at all times endeavor to preserve peace and national cohesion. The individual aspiration for leadership by any person should not put the lives of Kenyans at risk.
In conclusion, we commend the millions of Kenyans who turned out to vote today. We have exercised our constitutional and civic duty. Let us continue upholding peace and responsible character in line with the prayer we make through the National Anthem:
O God of all creation, bless this our land and nation, justice be our shield and defender
May we dwell in unity, peace and liberty, plenty be found within our borders
Signed on this 9th day of August 2022 at Roussel House, Nairobi
Rt Rev John Oballa Owaa
Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops
Rev Canon Chris Kinyanjui
National Council of Churches of Kenya