Bishop Korir: Chaos in rallies is a recipe for election violence
Disruption of campaign rallies of key presidential hopefuls is a recipe for post election violence, a catholic cleric has warned.
Bishop Cornelius Korir of the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret said the chaos recently witnessed in presidential campaign rallies signals possibility of clashes during and after the polls.
Korir called on political parties to restrain their supporters from causing chaos in rallies to avert election skirmishes.
“Let us respect leaders. What we are witnessing now is akin to preparing supporters for a war. Let us be mature in our politics,” the cleric said.
He decried what he termed as a bad trend of heckling leaders including a sitting President, warning it will plunge the country into anarchy.
Korir urged Kenyans to listen to and weigh the candidates’ agenda and uphold peace.
“We will be heading in the wrong direction as a country if political parties will not be cautious,” Bishop Korir said.
He also warned political leaders against interfering with the work of the IEBC as the election draws closer.
The cleric said the commission should be left to discharge its duties independently as stipulated in the constitution.
“Politicians should focus on vote hunting and leave IEBC alone. The commission is an independent body,” he said.
He challenged IEBC to prepare adequately for the polls to guarantee a free and fair election next month.
Speaking at Sing’ore Girls High school during the school’s Golden Jubilee fete on Friday, Korir told the electoral body to ensure the voter register is updated to give all registered voters a chance to exercise their rights to elect their leaders.
He also asked the commission to ensure voting machines are in good condition to avert machine failure as witnessed in the 2013 general elections.
“We all know that failure by the electoral commission in 2008 lacked transparency and their actions led to chaos. We are appealing to the current commission to be more transparent,” he said.
He further urged the media to be careful to avoid disseminating information that will polarize the country ahead of the polls.
His remarks came in the wake of disruptions of Nasa campaign rally in Kabarnet and Thika and hurling of stones at President Uhuru Kenyatta’s convoy in Kisumu and heckling of Deputy President William Ruto in Homa Bay by rowdy crowds last week.