Kenyan Catholic bishops said they fear widespread violence in the next general elections.
“If the violence, the allegation of bribery, suspicions, accusations and counter-accusations, rejection of results and general acrimony…are anything to go by, then (we) have a reason to be very worried over the forthcoming general elections,” Bishop Philip Anyolo, chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, said at a news conference at the end of the bishops’ general meeting in late April.
The bishops said the nominations – announced in late April for the 8th August elections – had sounded the alarm, while sending worrying signs of another violent election in the making.
Bishop Anyolo urged Kenyans to pay attention and address the situation as a matter of urgency and concern. He also delivered parts of the bishops’ final statement, which addressed peaceful and credible elections, leaders’ integrity, insecurity and drought. It cautioned youth against being used by aspirants to kill, maim or cause violence.
The August elections come nearly a decade after the violence that followed the disputed December 2007 elections. More than 1,000 people were killed and 600,000 displaced.
Picture: A man walks past a banner calling for prevention of violence during the primary elections in Kisumu, Kenya. (CNS photo/Baz Ratner, Reuters).