Call For Continued Peace In Kenya Following 2022 General Elections
Religious leaders in Kenya are calling for peace and calm amid tension in the East African nation following the declaration of the final results of the Presidential election that was conducted on August 9. On Monday, August 15, the chairman of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Wafula Chebukati, declared Deputy President, Dr. William Ruto, the winner of the tight Presidential election with 50.49% of the valid votes, against his main challenger, former Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga’s 48.85%. Chaotic scenes marred the declaration of the results at the Bomas of Kenya auditorium, with Mr. Chebukati being assaulted by a section of Kenyan politicians before security agents intervened. He was whisked away after he had taken his seat in readiness to announce the final tally of the Presidential election, and returned later to make the declaration. Four of the seven IEBC Commissioners held a separate Press Conferencing at Nairobi’s Serena Hotel, distancing themselves from the results that were to be announced, saying, “Because of the opaque nature on how this phase has been handled, we cannot take ownership of the results that is going to be announced”.
In a press conference after Dr. Ruto was declared President-elect, religious leaders prayed for peace in Kenya. “We want to ask all religious leaders to raise their hands in prayer,” Archbishop Anthony Muheria said, and added, “We invite all religious leaders to raise our hands to God, and you who believe to raise our hearts, and let this country be placed in His hands because you and I will give each other the great gift of peace.” “Dear Kenyan, keep peace. Let us keep peace,” the Local Ordinary of Kenya’s Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri said, and continued, “Dear Kenyans, peace to you. All these leaders, we send you peace. In your woundedness we give you peace.” He reached out to the President-elect with peace and called for peace in return, saying, “We give you peace, and also give peace to us and to your contenders.” The Catholic Archbishop also reached out to Mr. Odinga who was vying for the Presidency for the fifth time, saying, “Our dear candidate who did not come out victorious in the Presidency we give you peace. We ask you to receive that peace in your heart and give it back to our nation.”