AFRICA/KENYA - Among the Catholics uncertainty prevails over the politicians lack of will to resolve the crisis

Thursday, 19 October 2017 elections  

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "There are so many things going wrong in our Country while the media seems to be focusing only on politics", says to Agenzia Fides Rose Achiego, a Catholic lay in Nairobi. "Let's take, for example the impact of striking nurses who have paralyzed activities at the local dispensary in Uthiru, where children are suffering and even dying of preventable".
"Gains which had been made over the years seem to be getting lost", Mrs. Achiego adds and appeals to the "political leadership to provide a way out of the current stalemate, and to unite this Country".
Kenya faces the political crisis resulting from the annulment of the 8 August presidential vote by the Supreme Court and the controversy on the Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC), which will have to organize and supervise the repeat of the elections on October 26. One of the main persons in charge of the IEBC, Roselyn Akombe, resigned yesterday, October 18, stating that this body is unable to secure a credible vote.
The political crisis falls within an already tense climate due to the strike that has paralyzed the healthcare sector and tensions in schools for months. "Unfortunately - complains Rose Achiego - speeches are not uniting Kenyans, but rather creating rifts on daily basis" "Being in October, Catholics would devote more time to praying through mother Mary to find a solution to what is happening; we are not sure where we are headed to; there is glaring division, between NASA and Jubilee supporters".
"It is a tense situation, but many Kenyans have made their decision about their political affiliation. However, I think there is a population in Kenya that doesn’t care who is President, they care about their jobs and how to fend for their families’ needs", says Magdalene Nafula, a member of the Young Adults association of St. Josephine Bakhita outstation of St. Mary’s parish, Mukuru in Nairobi.
"There is a lot of confusion in our country and there is no clarity whether or not we shall have elections on 26th ", says to Fides Sr. Margaret Mutiso who Coordinates the Leaders Guild of Nairobi-based Tangaza University College. She adds, "The mood seems to indicate that there might be no elections, considering the latest revelations from the just resigned commissioner, and the external pressures on IEBC. The Country does not seem ready for the repeat elections and this is worrying since we don’t really know what is going to happen", sentiments that are also shared by Sr. Beatrice Merceline ministering in the diocese of Bungoma.
Sr. Mutiso attributes the uncertainty in the Country to the political class saying in reference to the President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, "The confusion is heightened by the unwillingness of the two Principals persons to sit and dialogue – each wants to win, but they are not creating an atmosphere for free and credible elections where they can accept the results". (D.B.O.O) (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 19/10/2017)