Peace-building is probably one of the most important elements that need attendance in this electioneering period. This is keeping in mind that Kenya has been guided by Politics of elimination and non inclusion and only people perceived in certain aspects are either included in political leadership or excluded. From political elections to appointments, leaders have been chosen based on personal or tribal connection and not meritocracy. This is the larger political context Kenya is in, and unfortunately, many Church leaders contribute to politics with this thinking and environment. There has been an increase in general godlessness and diminishing influence of church on national affairs. This was made evident in the 2007- 2008 Post Election Violence PEV.
The political arena has in the past been marked as one that is hard for Christians to fit in. Many have been trapped in this old cliche possibly quoted by Sir Charles Njonjo that politics is a dirty gate. For a long time Christians have actually looked at it as being dirty hence putting a hands-off approach. Politics in Kenya has been made a reserve for the few. Politics being a main arena where policy formulators are sourced, it is prudent for Christians to participate as it represents the mountain of Governance if we are to make any meaningful change in the nation of Kenya and the world at large. In this regard, Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK) in partnership with World Vision organized a peace, prayer forum brining on board other relevant organizations and people aspiring for various elective offices in the forth coming general elections.
In the run up to the 2007-08 General Elections, some church leaders took political stands that compromised their integrity as a moral watchdog for the nation, government and electoral process. This degenerated into sharp divisions among the church leaders, and accusation that many failed to guide the faith community in ways that preached peace and non violence. The compromised position of the church in its relationship with politicians did not leave enough room to execute its authority of spiritual leadership in the community. This was taken advantage of by politicians who gladly warmed up to the friendly church leaders to get the votes and later dump them.
The effects of the 2007-2008 PEV left the church in Kenya shocked, crippled and disjointed. In Rift Valley alone, more than 400 churches were burnt. Another 13 were burnt in Kibera and most church leaders remained confounded. The church also observed that, Mosques Hindu temples were not burnt down nor destroyed and that no other religious facilities were destroyed apart from Churches alone. This led to the unfortunate deaths of more than 1,000 people and more than 350,000 people displaced from their homes. The huge economic loss and the large scale humanitarian disaster never before experienced in Kenya, left the Church bleeding, wounded and divided. We are thankful for World Vision support, for your support in funding the Reconciliation and Healing forums among church leaders
There was no clear position of the church to exercise its authority to the political process, and some church leader do what they feel would please themselves and the political masters. Thechurch faced a great challenge of ethnicity both nationally and in their congregations. There is a diverse orientation of cultural values & practices and this makes it very difficult for church leaders to guide the social direction of the country and more so to guide the nation towards a considered, informed and sound ideological for development, unity and national values. Millions of Kenyans live below poverty line, a scenario which presents a dire and desperate picture, and this situation presents itself as a ticking bomb if polls violence were to turn into a serious case of class wars between the rich and the poor, as it nearly did in 2007-2008 where many people had their properties destroyed simply because they did not belong to the economic class or tribe. Therefore, the EAK is taking into consideration, these contexts to help prepare,
prevent and preserve the national fibre of unity and bring healing into the nation.
EAK is part of the Dialogue Reference Group (DRG), an initiative of inter-faith and some civil societies and have held two Muilti-Sectoral Forums (MSF) to discuss the preparedness for 2017 General Elections and to discuss peace. As part of our commitment and engagement in the DRG
and MSF, and EAK broader mandate, the Evangelical Alliance is seeking to effectively deal with peace building before during and after the 2017 General Elections, and it seeks to occupy its space in advocating and negotiating for peace towards the deterrent of polls violence.
As 2017 General Elections draws near, the Evangelical Fraternity is concerned with the prevailing situation, lack of preparedness by the IEBC, hate speech being traded by political leaders, violence that is being experienced in a number of counties, i.e. Baringo, Pokot, Marakwet, and the situation is made worse by the drought and the famine being experienced in 23 counties across Kenya. We see the above challenges as threats to peaceful elections. Therefore there is need for Speedy resolution and intervention in order to mitigate any pre- election and post-election violence.
There is an increase in the number of Christian going for elective political position.however it is unfortunate that in the past EAK have not been able to effectively galvanize or tosuadeits more than 9millions Evangelical Christians to form a formidable voting bloc. Therefore many evangelical do not vote on Christian convictions but rather on tribal, ethnic, regional and politics.
To promote peace building and reconciliation before, during and after the 2017 General Elections.
To bring together and engage stakeholders, Key Evangelical Bishops and Heads of churches, Christian aspirants from all political parties, professional, evangelical women, Evanglical youth, para-church organization, Evangelicals, from the Government, Education, Entertainment, Media, Sports, Arts, Theologians, and from the Academia to dialogue with each other and interrogate on how we can be peace keepers in this electoral process period and how they can contribute in building cohesion among Kenyans.
Partners for this activity included World Vision, Evangelical Youth Alliance, Kenya Christians Professional Forum, HESABIKA; Christ is The Answer Ministries (CITAM), EACLJ, ELNET, and Intercessors for Kenya, Simama, Bible Society of Kenya and Evangelical Women Alliance.
EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE OF KENYA CHRISTIAN ASPIRANTS FORUM HELD AT NAIROBI BAPTIST CHURCH TUESDAY APRIL 11, 2017 Program
9.30 – Registration .
10.00 – Preliminaries
10.30 – Guest Speaker: Pastor Simon Mbevi
11.15 – Strategies and Challenges of Political Campaigns: Mr. Tom Wolf,
12.00 – Commitment, Promotion of Peace, Promotion of Integrity
12.20 – Prayers for the Aspirants: Bishop Mark to Leads the Prayer
12.40 – Prayer for the Nation ¡V Rev. Calysto Odede
12.50 – Closing Ceremony
1.00 – Networking and Lunch is Served
Bonding time between Bishops and aspirants
Peace, Prayer aspirants forum
The forum was done at The Nairobi Baptist Church along Ngong Rd, next to Daystar University Vrd Campus on 2017. The concept was to pray for peaceful elections, equipping of our Christians candidates as well as build credible networks. The General Secretary of EAK Reverend Connie Kivuti made opening remarks on the importance of having credible leaders in places of influence and policy formulation and importance of building credible networks for believers. Her promise was that this was a new beginning towards a greater end. The CEO of IPSOS Mr. Tom Wolf was one of the invited guests, and Pastor Mbevi of Transform Nations was the key note speaker.
Reverend Connie Kivuti making her opening remarks
Christian representation in political leadership is important yet a challenging one. Christians need to uphold their own for success and for value led kind of leadership.
Tom Wolf CEO IPSOS
Tom Wolf is a known analyst especially in the area of conducting of opinion polls. Tom Wolf addressed the topic on strategies and challenges of political campaigns. He spoke on the dynamics in Kenyan politics and the shape of political parties as well as strategies on how to leverage for a win and usage of opinion polls as a politician for effectiveness.
Pastor Mbevi ¡V CEO Transform Nations
Pastor Mbevi Sharing on the 6Cs of leadership
5. Compelling Vision
Pastor Mbevi is an author, a motivational speaker and a highly respected pastor and Founder of transform nations. Pastor Mbevi was speaking on Political leadership commitments. He brought it out by sharing about the Cs of a great leader and these include Character, Competence, Conciliator, Caring, and Compelling Vision.
Signing of peace commitment and integrity Charters
41 born again aspirants representing elective offices signed the peace commitment and integrity charters
and EAK is following up on them.
A number of Bishops including Bishop Peter Njao who is the EAK Chairperson for Nairobi County, Bishop Boniface Adoyo who a fomer Chairperson for the Alliance and others were present and were committed to pray for peace, unity, and the nomination process that was forthcoming. EAK is in progression of receiving data on how our Christian candidates faired on in the party primaries.
Prayers for aspirants after signing of the peace and integrity charters
EAK shall remain networking with these candidates for augmentation of their leadership potential and ultimate victory for representation of the Christian fraternity in elective offices. Generally we are hopeful that the next house of legislatures will have a good number of Christians comprising it. The EAK Nairobi County Chairperson speaking on promoting peace and right with Bishop Margaret Wanjiru after the prayer for aspirants.
Singing of the National Anthem was led by Pastor Evans Kariuki, the Evangelical Youth Alliance National chairperson.
Encouragement on the need to pray for candidates especially from hard and dry areas and prayer was done by a seating Members of County Assembly from Marsabit County Meal time service courtesy of Biblica Guest House
EAK focuses on ensuring that there is Christian representation all across the political positions. It is in the interest of the general populace that there are leaders of integrity and leaders that can deliver in accordance to the promises given. The electoral process usually attracts some level of violence owing to politics. It is in the best interest of Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, key partners, and on behalf of the electorate to ensure that we have peaceful and credible 2017elections. As EAK, we are keeping in touch with leaders, and are also in prayer with them during their challenges, and in strategizing so as to keep their dream alive. The meeting was an encouraging one as it brought forth Christian candidates who want to vie for all positions from Presidency all the way to MCA seat, and from different counties.