NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 6 – Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi on Monday held talks with Cardinal John Njue at the Holy Family Basilica to deliberate ways to foster peaceful campaigns and polls ahead of the next General Elections.
Speaking after the meeting, Cardinal Njue said the church will play an active role in fostering peace ahead of the elections and will pray for fair, peaceful and democratic elections next year.
Njue also urged political leaders to bring Kenyans together and set an example by conducting peaceful campaigns to avoid a repeat of the 2008 post-election chaos where innocent Kenyans suffered.
“We had fruitful deliberations with the DPM on what can be done to have peaceful elections. The Catholic Church commits itself to be at the forefront to advocate for that and we have already embarked on civic education through the Pastoral Letters”, he said.
He urged Christians in the country to play a leading role in fostering peace and coexistence in the country.
On his part, Mudavadi who intends to vie for the presidency on a United Democratic Forum (UDF) party ticket said the meetings are aimed at seeking partnership with religious leadership on fostering peace.
“I stand on the platform of peace, reconciliation and stability of the Kenyan nation and these consultations are meant to advance this course,” Mudavadi told reporters accompanied by Cardinal Njue after the meeting.
Mudavadi said UDF was consulting and lobbying various stakeholders and leaders to urge Kenyans to embrace peace before and after the elections.
“We are entering a critical phase in the country’s electoral process and that is why we are discussing and consulting with the church to foster a peaceful process and lobby the leaders to urge our people to embrace peace,” he reiterated.
Monday’s meeting comes barely a week after Mudavadi held similar talks with the Methodist Church head Bishop Stephen Kanyaru, and another one with senior officials of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK).
Mudavadi said in the 2007 General Election, the degree of tolerance within the political fraternity broke down, resulting in the post-poll violence in which Kenyans lost lives and property.
“We don’t want political violence anymore and that is why the UDF party wants to engage the religious sector to partner with the political leaders to advocate for peaceful elections and appeal to Kenyans not to turn a democratic process into cycle of violence before and after the elections,” he noted.