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Let peace be our guide during this campaign period

With the official campaign season kicking off in line with the directives gazetted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries commission IEBC, candidates who were cleared by the body to participate in the August 9th general election are now expected to conduct peaceful campaigns and adhere to the code of conduct they did sign with the electoral agency.

A peaceful campaign season and election will play a part in cementing Kenya’s role as a cornerstone of democracy in the region and around the world.

Last week the main Presidential contenders Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga and Kenya Kwanza candidate William Ruto were cleared by the electoral body to run for the top political seat in the country.

Speaking at Bomas of Kenya while giving a nod to the Kenya Kwanza presidential flag bearer IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati said Ruto met all the necessary qualifications in order to be cleared as a presidential candidate.

“The application of William Ruto and running mate to participate in the August presidential; election is approved. I will now present to you with a certificate of registration,” IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati said.

Chebukati also took time to remind the Kenya Kwanza team that the nod of approval came with conditions requiring them to adhere to the guidelines in the code of conduct that risks one being nullified if violated.

“Candidates should implement orders and directions of the commission and publicly condemn violence and intimidations and avoid use of hate speech. As you go out to campaign please observe the code of conduct …ensure that the statements you make are likely not to cause hatred among the citizens or violence,” he added.

Ruto who was cleared together with his running mate Rigathi Gachagua pledged to conduct peaceful campaigns.

“We are committed to the code of conduct that we have signed to keep this election above board …. That this is a moment of our lifetime and we must do everything to protect it,” he pledged.

On the other hand Azimio’s Presidential candidate who was the fifth to be cleared after Walter Mongare of Umoja summit party of Kenya and later denied the chance, David Mwaura Waihiga of Agano party and Roots party leader George Wajackoyah expressed confidence in the electoral commission towards credible elections and at the same time taking issue with the destruction of aspirants campaign posters and billboards this campaign season.

“We want to promise you that we are going to conduct ourselves as candidates and also members of our movement in a manner that conforms with the requirement of the electoral laws and the constitution of the Republic of Kenya,” he said.

“We have seen some goons defacing our billboards in some other parts of the country. That’s an act of hooliganism which is primitive which should not be tolerated in a civilized society…..i urge our supporters not to interfere or try to defecate any billboard belonging to our opponents, “he Pleaded.

Although these campaigns have been going on despite the timelines that were issued by the electoral body, politicians are now required to sell their agenda as they try to persuade voters to elect them in the upcoming general election. Remember that a peaceful transition of power will contribute in making Kenya continue reaching new heights as regional and world leader.

Recently the National Cohesion and Integration commission NCIC scaled up peace campaigns countrywide ahead of the elections.

The commission identified six counties that are likely to experience electoral violence namely Nairobi,Mombasa,Nakuru,Kericho,Kisumu and Uasin gishu.

“I urge you to be guided by the rule of law do not manipulate the masses, resist hate speech and propaganda and ensure we have a peaceful means for dispute resolution after the election,” NCIC Chairman Reverend Samwel Kobia said while launching the conflict hotspot mapping for Kenya report in Nairobi.

Religious leaders have also been at the forefront advocating for a peaceful campaign period in readiness for the 9th August general election.

READ ALSO; https://ghettoradio.co.ke/what-raila-will-do-within-100-days-if-elected/

“After the elections, Kenyans will still need access to healthcare education and decent income generating activities. This can only be achieved if they conduct peaceful campaigns now and elect visionary leaders,” Inter religious council of Kenya branch chairman Ronald Sunguti said during a launch of a peace walk in Nakuru.

These sentiments were echoed by Bashir Adulrahaman from the Jamia mosque who urged Kenyans to shun leaders who propagate tribalism.

“Let us listen to all of those who have offered themselves to be elected, they shouldn’t be examined based on where they come from and what language they speak,” he advised.

BY WEMA TOYWA   #WEMA’STAKE

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