ELDORET, Kenya, Jun 13 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged his opponents in the upcoming polls to declare their readiness to accept the will of Kenyans.
He also challenged them to commit to non-violence and the stability of Kenya.
The President said democracy stands for people power and there is no place for politicians who are bent on destroying the country if they do not have it their way.
The Head of State who spoke to the National Elections Conference going on at the KICC through a live address from State Lodge, Eldoret, said politicians should not engage in reckless actions that might harm the nation.
“No politician should be allowed to insist that they either have the country or else they destroy it,” said the President.
The Head of State said strong institutions underpin democracy and politicians should desist from undermining those institutions including the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
He said any attack against the IEBC is an attack upon an important pillar that is a guardian of Kenya’s democracy.
“Absence of strong institutions can only result into a failed state. An eventuality I shudder to contemplate yet it is a reality we have witnessed in our region,” said President Kenyatta.
He expressed his commitment to embolden the independence of the IEBC, which exists to conduct elections fairly, transparently and peacefully.
The President called on the Opposition to give the IEBC space to operate so that its independence can be bolstered and ensure vital public trust.
“We must not be chipping at its body with constant negative rhetoric that undermine its credibility in the court of public opinion,” said the President
He said the electoral body has the responsibility to be accountable to the people of Kenya and must thus not be harried by politicians, or marred by partisan political warfare that taints its foundation.
“In our constitution they alone are granted the right to tally and announce results on behalf of the people whom they have been appointed to represent,” said the President.
The President said the memories of 2007 should serve as a warning to politicians who are egging Kenyans to engage in confrontations.
“It is the constant preaching of an ideology of hate premised on ethnicity or religion that create the base for suspicions that compel an otherwise normal person to turn against his neighbour,” said the President as he urged politicians to be mindful of the ordinary Kenyans who will become the victims.
He said politicians should lead by example and give Kenyans the peace of mind that they deserve.
“This means committing to non-violence. This means standing up for those who have been disenfranchised, and standing up to those who wish to disenfranchise. This means showing the world, proudly, that we are more than fit to govern ourselves, more than fit to care for each other and more than fit to make big decisions, together,” said the President.
The President said he is committed to peace and stability of Kenya and he will never mortgage that principle for any false gain.
He called on those who will lose to use the option provided in the Constitution of seeking redress in the courts.
He said politicians should show maturity and exhibit to the world that Kenyans can manage their affairs.
“We must exhibit the maturity and skills to navigate this country through its challenges in peace for our sake, our children and our children’s children,” said the President.
President Kenyatta said those running against him should declare and be ready to concede defeat, adding that conceding defeat shows political maturity.
“I urge all contenders in this election to conduct themselves with the humility and decorum public office not only demands of its actors, but desperately needs if we are to continue to grow as a nation,” said the President, adding he himself had conceded defeat in 2002 and became President a decade later.
The President also assured the IEBC that he will sign a document from the electoral body committing the Jubilee Party to peaceful elections when he comes back to Nairobi.
The President, who spoke from Eldoret, was due to visit West Pokot and parts of Elgeyo Marakwet Counties.