AFRICA/KENYA - "We are each other's guardians", the expectation of the next elections increases in the country

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "Let us share with our neighbours, wherever we are, in villages, towns or cities, the identity of who we are: citizens of our beloved nation, Kenya". Appeals and exhortations from the Kenyan Bishops continue in view of the presidential and parliamentary elections to be held on August 9. "Not going to the polls leaves room for less qualified candidates, including those who are corrupt and less worthy of winning seats which they clearly should not get", said the Archbishop of Nyeri, Msgr. Anthony Muheria, warning of the apathy that could lead the wrong candidates to win political seats (see Fides, 4/8/2022).
"Voting is an exercise of our civic duty", he repeated, addressing the Christians gathered in the Cathedral of the Consolata. Reminding Kenyans that the country's different religions encourage love and mutual aid, the Archbishop wanted to highlight the feeling of unity and constant collaboration that must animate the entire population. "As a God-loving country, our religions remind us that we are always close to each other, even at the time of elections. We are each other's guardians. Our different religious beliefs converge in the principle of loving our neighbor, which manifests itself in moments like this, when we should bring out the best in each of us".
The Kenyan bishops also warned against media reports that "threaten the integrity of the electoral process, intended to express the will of the Kenyan people".
The candidates in the elections are Raila Odinga, a longtime opponent of current President Uhuru Kenyatta, who cannot run again as he is at the end of his second term due to term limits in the country and the leader of the opposition, and current vice-president William Ruto. These personalities are joined by Martha Karua, a former human rights activist during the years of dictatorship between the 1980s and 1990s, and defender of women's rights in the country's politics, who is running as vice-president in the coalition from Odinga. In Kenya, a law stipulates that at least one third of parliament must be composed of women, but this rule is not respected. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 6/8/2022)