By Rose Achiego.
Following the current political climate, preceded by the Supreme Court nullification of the 8th, August, 2017 and call for repeat presidential elections on 26th, October, 2017, Pope Francis has called on the faithful to pray for peace in the world, urging Kenyan political leaders to engage in dialogue
Speaking in Rome during the Agelus at St. Peter’s Square on 22nd, October, 2017, The Holy Father, Pope Francis said he is attentively following the political situation in Kenya.
“I ask you all to unite yourself with my prayer for peace in the world. In these days, I am following with special attention the situation in Kenya, which I visited in 2015. I am praying that the entire Country may know how to face the current difficulties, in an atmosphere of constructive dialogue, keeping deep in their hearts the need to find and sustain the common good for all,” Pope Francis.
Earlier in their Pastoral letter issued on 12th, October, 2017, The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) continue to pray for Kenya that, as a Nation under God, may be of the same mind and spirit at all times having observed the recent happenings mainly instigated by political interests at the expense of innocent Kenyans.
In their Pastoral Letter Signed by KCCB Chairman and the Bishop of Homabay Rt. Rev. Philip Anyolo, the Bishops said, the unending election standoff has worsened the economic and social conditions of Kenyans adding that, the Country is getting more and more divided along political and ethnic lines.
With the knowledge that the Supreme Court nullified the Presidential Election on September 1 2017 and that IEBC has set a new date for the fresh Presidential Election for October 26, 2017, the bishops said that, amidst all these concerns, anxiety and challenges, they are convinced that God is with the people of Kenya, expressing hope that, the current crisis can offer Kenya an opportunity to carry out honest dialogue about the underlying unresolved grievances, concerns and anguish.
They urged all Catholics, Christians and Kenyans of good will to approach the election with calm and restraint and to turn out and exercise their democratic right peacefully If the election on October 26th goes on as scheduled adding that if for any reason the election is reschedule Kenyans should remain calm and peaceful knowing well that the institutions responsible for giving direction are well able to offer the new direction.
The Catholic Bishops and other Religious leaders have been offering leadership and are engaged with all the political parties and stakeholders in the electoral processes. Because of the gravity of the crisis the Country is in at the moment, they have chosen to convene, facilitate and mediate high level talks on resolving the political crisis so that we steer the Country to stability and cohesion, revealing that they shall in concurrence with H.E The President, Uhuru Kenyatta and the Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga and their political coalitions agree on the agenda of the National Dialogue.
The Bishops called on all Kenyans to desist from any act of violence saying that, the only way forward is to dialogue as they promise commitment to resolving the current political stalemate.
“God has given us only one Country, our Nation Kenya, and it is upon every Kenyan to stand firm and say no to anything that will take us away from the peace and the Country that God has given us,” they said.
Recently during “National Prayer Day at Subukia”, the Bishops consecrated the Nation to God and to Mother Mary with the assurance that, God will never permit His children to perish. They therefore call upon all to use the weapon of prayer, the weapon of good will and love of neighbour. Catholics in particular have been called upon to pray the Rosary as a weapon of peace, during this month of the Holy Rosary and beyond.