, NAKURU, Kenya Oct 22 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday urged Kenyans to turn up in large numbers and vote on Thursday, but assured that he will respect the decision of those who will boycott the poll.
Speaking during national prayers in Nakuru, President Kenyatta said voting will only take place on a single day, and should not divide the country.
He urged Kenyans to uphold peace before, during and after October 26 as he asked them to turn out in large numbers to exercise their democratic right during the fresh presidential election.
Speaking at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru County when he led the country in national prayers, President Kenyatta called on Kenyans not to allow politicians to incite them to fight.
“Even as I urge all Kenyans to come out and vote, those who will vote and those who will not must remember that after October 26 they will still be neighbours and they must continue to live together harmoniously,” President Kenyatta said.
He added: “If all Kenyans embrace peace, Kenya will emerge a stronger nation after October 26.”
President Kenyatta called on Kenyans to pray for the country after consultations with religious leaders last week, culminating in the national day of prayer held today across the nation.
Deputy President William Ruto, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and the Deputy President’s wife Rachel Ruto were among the thousands of Kenyans who thronged Afraha Stadium for the special interdenominational prayer service.
The DP assured Kenyans that the country will continue on the path of stability after the October 26 fresh presidential poll but urged them to say no to the politics of tribalism and hatred that had the potential of plunging the country into trouble.
“I know there is anxiety in the country. I know there are those who do not know what will happen. But we have come to Nakuru for prayers so that the country can know all is well and that God is in charge. And like He has done before, He will take us across this hurdle,” the Deputy President said.
The Deputy President noted that the country is in uncharted waters following the ruling of the Supreme Court that annulled the August 8 presidential election but God is with Kenya and will take the country through the present situation.
He asked Kenyans – regardless of their ethnicity, political affiliation or religious background – to join hands in ensuring that every talent and every resource in the country is used not to undermine the country but to prosper Kenya.
“It is our humble prayer to God to spare Kenya and take our country to a new level of progress, growth and stability – a nation where no one will be left behind and a Kenya we can all be proud citizens,” the Deputy President said.
Reverend Teresa Wairimu of the Faith Evangelistic Ministries (FEM) led the prayer service.
Rev. Wairimu, quoting heavily from the book of Nehemiah in her sermon, implored Kenyans to be patriotic and join hands in building the nation.
“Kenya has the potential of becoming a great nation in the world. Let us put aside our differences and unite to build the nation,” Rev. Wairimu said.
She commended President Kenyatta, saying just like King Solomon he has done the right thing to call the nation to prayers and God will answer them.
Rev. Wairimu said Kenya’s destiny is in the hands of God and all will be well after the October 26 fresh election.
“I believe on 26 October it will be the dawn of a new day. Kenya is about to receive strength from the Lord,” Rev. Wairimu said as she prayed for the country.
She added: “Kenyans are fatigued, they want to go on with their everyday activities without fear and do not want to be engaged in an endless electioneering process.”
Other speakers included Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale and his senate counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen.
Others were Governors Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru), Ferdinard Waititu (Kiambu), Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga), Stanley Kiptis (Baringo), Samuel Tunai (Narok), Joyce Laboso (Bomet), Mike Mbuvi Sonko (Nairobi) and Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua) among other leaders.