NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 17 – The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops on Thursday applauded the decision by the opposition NASA coalition to take their case to the Supreme Court for legal determination.
In a press briefing, Vice Chairman John Oballa called upon all those with electoral disputes to use the legal means as provided for in the Constitution to seek redress.
“All the aggrieved parties should use the legal means as provided in the Constitution to seek redress. It is only by respecting and having recourse to the established constitutional institutions that we as Kenyans are able to enhance and strengthen the rule of law and the democratic process in our country,” noted Bishop Oballa.
Bishop Oballa also stated the need to give the Judiciary time to handle and determine the case for the greater of all Kenyans.
“We call upon the judiciary and other constitutional institutions to jealously protect their independence and discharge their mandate justly, in a fair and impartial manner, to act without any favour and not to give in to any form of coercion or intimidation,” said bishop Oballa.
“This is the only way these institutions will earn the trust and confidence of all Kenyans.”
The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops further pointed out the need for a deliberate agenda of post election audit, review and reforms to be undertaken by all stakeholders.
Chairman Philip Anyola stated that this will help understand what is happening at every election time by pointing to underlying loopholes in the electoral system that need to seal.
“Then ugly divisions that we witness every election year, the tribal voting pattern that emerges, the hatred that is triggered by the winners and losers syndrome, and the win-it-all mentality that characterizes Kenyan politics are pointers to an electoral system that needs to be reviewed,” said bishop Anyola.
The Catholic bishops also called upon the President Uhuru Kenyatta as well as other government leaders to take the lead in uniting the country and to face boldly the unresolved issues of National healing, cohesion, reconciliation, inclusivity, corruption etc.
“As we await the determination of the disputed presidential elections by the Supreme Court, we call upon leaders to take the lead in uniting the country, to uphold the rule of law and respect constitutional institutions commissions and independent offices.”
Overall, the Catholic bishops appreciated the manner in which the electoral process was carried out thanking Kenyans for turning out in large numbers to vote peacefully.