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Kenya’s bishops warn of election violence threat: The Church of England Newspaper, October 6, 2012, p 7 October 10, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Kenya, Church of England Newspaper, Politics.
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The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Kenya has warned the East African nation it risks tribal and religious civil war over the forthcoming March 2013 General Elections if its political leaders do not pull back from hate speech.

In a statement read at the close of the House of Bishops meeting in Nakuru on 28 September 2012, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala said some politicians were guilty making “offensive political utterances with impunity” that strained “fragile inter-ethnic relations”. By appealing to race and religion, politicians were priming the country for an explosion akin to the violence that followed the 2008 elections, he warned.

The church called for the immediate appointment of a national Inspector General of Police before the elections, and urged the government to implement the reforms of the police services proposed by a blue ribbon commission. The bishops urged President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to act now in preparing the security services to ensure a peaceful, free and fair General Election.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Archbishop closes Kenya’s pulpits to politicians: The Church of England Newspaper, May 27, 2012 p 7. May 31, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Kenya, Church of England Newspaper, Politics.
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Archbishop Eliud Wabukala

The Primate of Kenya, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala has asked the country’s Anglican clergy to eschew partisan politics in the run up to the country’s General Elections and close their pulpits to politics.

Speaking at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi on 20 May 2012, Archbishop Wabukala said the Anglican Church of Kenya will “remain non-partisan.”

“Politicians who want to divide Kenyans on tribal lines should be discouraged at all costs,” and not be allowed to speak from church pulpits in support of their political agendas as “we are aware that some of them may not mean well.”

In March the Kenyan electoral commission set 4 March 2013 as the date for the next presidential and parliamentary elections.  It will be the first general election since the 2007 vote that triggered factional and ethnic fighting that left 1,220 people dead, and triggered indictments of several prominent Kenyan political figures by the International Criminal Court.

It will also be the first election since the east African country adopted a new constitution.

President Mwai Kibaki, who is barred from seeking a third term of office, and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, had been at loggerheads over the date of the election.  In January the country’s High Court ruled the next elections should be held in 2013 and not in August 2012 as required by the constitution.  However, if the coalition government formed by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga collapses, an early vote may be held.

During the 2007 elections, a number of ACK bishops gave their public support to political groups – which are predominantly tribal based.  This prompted sharp criticism from the wider Kenyan church and soul searching over the role of bishops, tribe and politics.

“We must embrace humility and become wiser as the country nears the General Elections,” Archbishop Wabukala told the congregation of All Saints Cathedral on Sunday,” and “we will not allow the church pulpits be used by politicians to attack each other.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

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