Kenya: Catholic Bishops Caution Against Tribal Alignments Ahead Of The August General Elections

Bishop Cornelius Korir has cautioned Kenyans against aligning along tribal lines ahead of the August General Elections.

“Unfortunately we have this terrible habit of placing our country on dangerous paths every time we approach elections. Many lives have been lost as our people are incited to fight one another on tribal and party affiliations. We must respect life”, he said.

“It is a time for us, to reflect deeply about the direction our country is taking. Is it that of prosperity and peace or that of chaos and death as we witnessed in 2007/2008?” he posed.

Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde, the Vice Chairman of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission also warned against politics of ethnicity saying ethnic groups should never be used to create divisions and animosity among Kenyans.

“Our ethnic groups are an inescapable reality. This should, however, not be a source of conflict. We must celebrate our diversity and look at how we can share with others our rich cultural inheritance,” said Archbishop Kivuva of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa.

“We should examine the intentions of those who have offered themselves for elections and vote with our conscience and not our stomach”, he said, adding that “time has come when the electorate needs to elect leaders of integrity who uphold ethical values”.

Bishop Dominic Kimengich of the Catholic Diocese of Lodwar said, “Peacemaking is the mandate given to the Church, therefore, we should not give up working for peace until we have lasting peace in the region”,

In the same time the Catholic bishops has asked the government to declare the current drought a national disaster. His Exc. Mgr. Philip Anyolo, Bishop of Homa Bay, chairman of Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) said, “We hasten to appeal to the Government to declare the current drought a national disaster in order to beckon the international community to step forward and support the many Kenyans who are suffering from this predicament”.

According to the bishops around 2.4 million Kenyans urgently need help. “Reports from dioceses and parishes in the country indicate tales of suffering, desperation, hopelessness and imminent loss of lives”, continued Bishop Anyolo.

“Even though the Kenyan Government, Kenya Red Cross and other philanthropic groups have made varied interventions, these remains in adequate because the number of families affected is huge. We are in a state of hunger, a looming disaster”, pointed out the Bishop.

The Counties most affected by drought are, Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit, Kilifi, Kwale, Tana River, Lamu, Mandera, Wajir, Samburu, Turkana, West Pokot and Baringo.

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