Various churches in Kenya took time on Sunday to preach peace urging nationals to live in harmony even after the General elections slated for March 4.
Drawing from various bible teachings, Pastor Ambrose Nyangao of the Parklands Baptist Church asked his congregation to remember that life continues even after elections.
House of Grace Bishop, Dr David Muriithi, was careful not to endorse any presidential candidate but cautioned Kenyans to choose wisely during the polls. He asked them to vote in leaders who stand for development and whose house is in order. Bishop Muriithi has for the past few weeks been preaching on harmonious living during and after elections saying Kenya is greater than the individuals promoting violence.
Chief Justice of Kenya, Dr. Willy Mutunga, while attending church service at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi asked Kenyans to be peaceful during and after the voting exercise. He told the congregation that the judiciary was ready to tackle any disputes arising from the election. Dr. Mutunga promised that the judiciary will be impartial and not respect any tribal linings or threats by groups or individuals.
He said Kenyans had no choice but make the elections peaceful otherwise it would cost the country. The Chief justice recently received a letter purported to have been written by the Mungiki, an outlawed sect in Kenya, threatening his life if he dared block one of the candidates, Uhuru Kenyatta, from contesting. The threats are still under investigations by the police.
While this was going on in the different churches, another huge gathering was praying for peace at Uhuru Park in Nairobi. Since Friday, hundreds of people from all walks of life had come just to pray that the events of 2007-2008 post-election violence never reoccur in the country.
Led by renowned evangelist David Owuor, the gathering prayed for repentance, peace and harmony during elections. Owuor declared that there would be no violence. He observed that by attending the meeting, it was a sign of the healing progress of the nation. The self-styled prophet proclaimed that Kenya will never experience violence again saying the country was now reborn.
Owuor warned Kenyan leaders against dividing the country through their speech, asking them to be cautious.
The last election in December 2007 ended in chaos after one of the candidates, Raila Odinga alleged foul play. In the violence that followed, at least 1300 people were killed and up to 650,000 displaced.
At the same meeting in Uhuru Park, six of the eight presidential candidates pledged to observe peace. They also promised to accept defeat if beaten to lead the country.
These included Odinga, the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) candidate and Jubilee Coalition leader Uhuru Kenyatta, the two main contenders for the top seat. Other candidates at the prayer gathering were Narc-Kenya’s Martha Karua, Restore and Build Kenya candidate, James Ole Kiyiapi, Eagle Alliance leader, Peter Kenneth and Alliance for Real Change (ARK) candidate Abduba Dida.
Amani coalition candidate Musalia Mudavadi and Safina party president Paul Muite were not present. They all promised to maintain peace and accept defeat.