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Kenyans support Anglican Church Bishops' stand Elections Must Take Place in 2022

Kenyans support Anglican Church Bishops' stand Elections Must Take Place in 2022

By Godfrey Olukya
VOL African correspondent
August 5, 2021

A cross section of Kenyans has supported Anglican Church of Kenya's Bishops' insistence that the 2022 presidential and general elections must take place as scheduled.

According to Kenya's constitution presidential and general elections must take place every five years without fail. The elections are scheduled to take place next year.

James Onyango, a politician in Western Kenya town of Kisumu said, "I stand with the Anglican Church of Kenya Bishops' stand those elections should take place next year even if the country has been hit by COVID19 pandemic.''

Margret Aceng, a secondary school teacher in Nairobi said, "Some people say that elections should be postponed until the COVID19 scare is over. I do not agree with such people. I support the Anglican Bishops who insisted that elections should take place at all cost.''

''I am a Muslim but I agree with the Anglican Church Bishops' argument that elections should take place next year," said Ahmed.

The Anglican Church of Kenya Bishops are totally against the idea of postponing presidential and general elections scheduled to take place next year. They are also against extending incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta's term in office. They warned that if it is done, it is likely to cause chaos in the country.

While speaking at All Saints Cathedral, the Anglican Bishops in Kenya led by Archbishop Jackson Sapit, said that the 2022 General Election has to be conducted on the exact date as stipulated in the Constitution.

According to the Standard newspaper, at the closing of the ACK Bishops' meeting that ended on July 23d 2021 they called on those seeking the postponement of the elections to allow the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to proceed with its preparations unhindered.

"The country cannot afford another disruption after Covid-19 and locust invasions, especially with the 2022 election just around the corner," said Archbishop Sapit.

Calls to push the polls have triggered mixed feelings with Deputy President William Ruto, terming them as the "language of impunity. "Allies of ODM leader Raila Odinga have also insisted the elections must be held in accordance with the Constitution.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has, however, previously stated that he has no intention of extending his stay in office. However, the Secretary General of workers union Francis Atwoli has been vocal in calling for the postponement of the elections, arguing that "it is out of the reality that the outcome of such elections would have a negative effect on the welfare of Kenyan workers."

Atwoli argues that Kenya should first deal with issues highlighted in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), key among them constitutional amendments to address the winner-takes-all system and ethnicitised politics by introducing an enlarged executive to accommodate election losers.

"The 2022 presidential election will once again be a cutthroat competition and the loser with over 45 per cent of the votes is unlikely to accept the results. "This will be a recipe for political instability," said Atwoli.

However, the Anglican bishops called on the government to ensure that the IEBC is provided with adequate resources to ensure proper preparation for the polls. "We call for adequate civic education and rolling out of mass and proper voter registration so that all Kenyans eligible to vote are registered," said Sapit.

Previously, the Church had expressed concerns over the inadequately constituted electoral body a year before the election but Sapit noted that the ongoing process to recruit more commissioners is encouraging.

At the same time, the Bishops' expressed their frustrations over reluctance by political leaders to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines during their meeting with the people despite the shortage of vaccines in the country


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