AFRICA/KENYA - Kenyatta's victory confirmed; Bishops call on citizens to resist persuasions toward violence

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 politics   bishops   violence  

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "We urge all Kenyans to embrace peace and resist any attempt to persuade them in engaging in criminal activities", the Catholic Bishops in Kenya state in a letter sent to Fides, signed by the Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), Bishop Philip Anyolo of Homabay.
In the letter dated Monday, November 20, the Bishops are particularly urging the youth "not to allow themselves to be manipulated by politicians to cause violence and destroy property".
According to local newspapers, residents in sections of Nairobi city are going through tense moments after five people were killed, three of them having been hacked to death by an armed gang in the capital city’s Baba Dogo area, and a fourth one, a security guard, having been shot as he pleaded with the gang not to attack residents. A fifth person was found dead in Nairobi’s Mathare North suburb had stab wounds.
"We, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, are saddened by the news that some Kenyans have lost lives in some areas of Nairobi and Nyanza", says the statement. "We are equally saddened to hear and see rampant destruction of property and destruction of business of Kenyans as witnessed in the recent past". "We condole with the families that have lost their loved ones in these unclear circumstances", says Mgr. Anyolo.
Nairobi police chief Japheth Koome says the Saturday night killings were of criminal nature and dismissing claims of ethnic clashes expressed by affected residents.
The Bishops appealed "to all politicians and other people to work toward unifying the Country and shun divisive politics and reckless utterances which lead to animosity and violence". "We also call upon the government and its security agencies to protect Kenyans and their properties from criminals, regardless of their political affiliation".
On Monday, November 20, six judges of Kenya’s Supreme Court unanimously upheld the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, which took place on October 26, being a repeat poll after the same court had nullified the previous election of August 8.
While the supporters of the ruling coalition broke into song and dance in celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision, incidences of dampened moods, street protests, youth engaging the police in running battles, particularly in the opposition strongholds occurred.
The opposition chief, Raila Odinga, says the judges at the Supreme Court decided under duress, and adds, "We do not condemn the Court, we sympathize with it". (DBO-LM) (Agenzia Fides, 21/11/2017)