Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "We would like to ask all religious leaders to pray for peace in our country", said Archbishop Anthony Muheria of Nyeri, just after the announcement of William Ruto's victory as President of Kenya with 50.5% of the votes in the August 9 elections.
“Dear Kenyans, keep the peace. Let's keep the peace together," he added.
For his part, the President of the Kenyan Catholic Bishops' Conference (KCCB), Archbishop Martin Kivuva of Mombasa, congratulated the peaceful course of the election campaign and the election itself: "Congratulations to the Kenyans. We were able to close an important chapter in our history".
After a tense week of vote counting by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC), which concluded that the outgoing vice president defeated his main rival and longtime opposition leader Raila Odinga, who, despite having the support of the outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta, obtained 48.8% of the votes.
Odinga has already described the election result as a "farce" and announced that he would appeal. His supporters protested in the outskirts of Nairobi and in the constituencies around Lake Victoria, where Odinga is from.
He can make use of the fact that a few minutes before IEBC President Wafula Chebukati announced the presidential results, four Commissioners left the National Counting Center and held a press conference at the Serena hotel, stating that they did not accept the results announced by Chebukati.
Meanwhile, observers from some countries from the Association of East African Bishops' Conferences (AMECEA) also monitored the elections to ensure fairness and promote transparency and accountability.
In his opening remarks prior to the start of the training for the election observers, Father Anthony Makunde, Secretary General of AMECEA, reminded the 25 observers from Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and South Sudan that "we as a church not only preach about good governance but must also shape the consciences of political leaders so that they can adhere to the relevant principles and values". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 17/8/2022)