Day 1 (One)
Arrival and Registration
Twenty well selected participants attended the Retreat.
3.0: Worship and opening Prayers
The sessions commenced with praise and worship as led by Reverend Elizabeth Nyambura and was closely followed by a moment of interceding for different and relevant prayer items as led by Bishop Peter Njao. Prayer items included prayer for the nation, counties, sub counties, wards as well as other institutions that have been tasked and mandated to spearhead the electoral process as well as praying for the general populace of Kenya.
4.0: Session One: The Role of the Church in Pastoring for Peaceful Elections – Jairus Webuye
Jairus began the session by looking down memory lane on a message that the EAK Chairperson Dr. David Oginde (Bishop) once shared on a National platform on The Role of the Church in
ensuring peaceful elections through a message he had titled “Peace in Times of War”.
As per Dr. David Oginde’s analysis, conflict is not confined to the godless or non-Christians. He went on to share that the Bible is actually a book of war. From Genesis to Revelation, the people of God are engaged in both internal and external conflict; physical and spiritual battles. The Kingdom of God is depicted as one that suffers violence, and the violent are to take it by force.
In Ephesians 6, Paul graphically illustrates the life of true believers comparing it to that of a fully armed soldier – covered from the head to the feet. The closing book of the Bible, Revelation, is a prediction of the greatest of all battles, when the whole earth as we know it will be totally destroyed.
The major focus was on what the trainer called Four “Ms” forming the message which brought out the fact that God has called the Church:
1. To Model Peace
2. To Make Peace
3. To Mediate Peace
4. To Maintain Peace
The session later graduated into Group work and the following areas were discussed
(i) Identify challenges facing Nairobi County as we approach 2022 General Elections
(ii) In your view, what do you think are the causes of these challenges
(iii) How can the Church respond to the identified challenges?
The participants were placed in small team to brainstorm on the above issues.
“It appears therefore that the human being is a walking minefield. You touch him to your own peril – it can explode with devastating effects. Conflicts are therefore a potential reality to be found everywhere”
Dr. David Oginde (Bishop)
5.0: Group Session
The participants were encouraged to broadly explore the issues that may affect effective implementation of mediation plans and peace in the counties but more specifically on how to cascade the training to the grassroots.
The issues that affect the nation every electioneering year could be scaled down through inclusion. It is generally principle of engagement that solutions are usually reached by involvement
relevant parties, and in this case the church as a key stakeholder. Engagement of duty bearers like clergy in the process as a religious institution based approach increases the base for advocacy hence chances of mitigation are intensified in the process. Through a well-coordinated approach, self-cognition and awareness is enhanced and peace become inevitable as the church actively engages.
6.0: Group Presentations
1. Identify challenges facing Counties as we approach 2022 General Elections
Heightened tension due to uncertainty of what might happen, Lack of trust on IEBC as an institution, Little Civic Education amongst citizenry, Underlying fighting especially amongst
institutions mandated to spearhead the forth coming 2022 General Elections, Fear of destruction of property due to campaigns and voting aftermath leading to loss of livelihood, Fear of loss of life either in the hands of warring factions or police in the melee of campaigns.
Nairobi as the seat bed of all key political parties and other key institutions attracts bad politicking and animosity especially in the slum areas and that has been replicated in other major cities and upcoming towns Gangs and bases in the estates and including bodaboda riders that act as brokers for politicians which in tandem is a potential threat to unity and peace.
High cost of living since basically everything is bought and thus leads to openness to voter bribery and or manipulation.
Zoning of some neighborhoods in terms of political affiliation which become a potential catalyst to displacement
2. In your view, what do you think are the causes of these challenges
Tribalism and tribal rhetoric awash our media channels and fueled by the negative foundation established by humanity, Selfishness and balkanization fueled evidence by tribalism
Political system: Kenya adopted the capitalistic system of governance as opposed to the Socialistic style which Tanzania adopted Joblessness/ Poverty/ Economic challenges
Political exploitation due to high poverty levels especially amongst the youth Ignorance and lack of information amongst the citizenry.
Lack of adequate civic education to allow people especially the young voters make quality decision as far as elections are concerned
Diversity in terms of tribal affiliation with very little sense of patriotism.
3 How can the Church respond to the identified challenges? Mitigation
Actions to take to reduce negative impact
Civic Education: Increase level of Civic Education and engaging in related trainings on peace and mediation. Train people on why to vote, benefits for voting, and repercussion for not voting through a nationwide campaign, Participating in peace initiatives, peace being part of the committees and engaging as the church on such matters. Analyze and help people understand the
Election Cycle, when it begins and the flow of activities
Political good will: The church must seek for political good will since politicians can either make things easier or harder
The church/ clergy should be bold in articulating of pertinent and national issues
The church/ Clergy should embrace neutrality on matters politics, not take sides for effectiveness in playing their mediatory role
Approach of the church in handling of political matters should embrace more of a win-win approach
Adopt town hall kind of meetings for sensitizing the public
Challenge political parties and leaders to share their manifestos and challenge the public to use the same to keep them politicians accountable
Leaving no politician un-pastored. That shall enhance accountability and enhance political responsibility
Vetting of leaders based on values
Creating linkages all stakeholders including the police
7.0: Night Session: County related discussions Positioning EAK structures for Peaceful Elections
Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK) embraces a Six tier system of governance namely:
– National Chapter: This is where the National Candidates (Presidential) are engaged
– Regional Chapter: This structure enhances Regional Peace and establishes avenues for
engagement at this level
– County Chapter: County Leadership is engaged through this structure. Governors,
Senators, the Super Woman and operative organs at County level are engaged at this level
– Sub County Chapter: Members of Parliament are engaged at this level
– Ward Chapter: Members of County Assembly are engaged through this Ward organ
– Churches: Everyone is ministered to and these include all
Rest for the Night
8.0: Worship and Prayer: Worship was conducted by Rev. Elizabeth and prayer was led by Bishop Kiangi who again led the participants into praying for various items amongst them the enlightening sessions that they were going through at Corat – Africa.
Morning Devotion: The Word for the Day was delivered by Bishop Dr. John Warari who preached from the Book of on the key role for leadership.
9.0: Session One: Pastoring for Peaceful General Elections – Jairus Webuye
The session looked at various issues as illustrated below:
The session looked at the capital that the church possesses and its contribution as a duty bearer
10: Session Two: Networking and Collaboration among EAK member churches at County and Ward Level – Dr. Nelson Makanda
The EAK General Secretary Dr. Nelson Makanda began his session by reminding the participants of marks of 0an Evangelical. In his defifition of an Evangelical, he pointed on two things
that stand supreme as far as
Evangelicals are concerned and the two included, supremacy of God’s word, and the second one was derived from the Evangelical word “Eungelion” which means bearers of good news.
Dr. Makanda went ahead to share on the importance of the church to engage in Integral Mission which entails Proclamation of God’s word and Demonstration of God love. He went a step further and asked several questions to which he went ahead and answered.
1. Who are we? We are
Evangelicals and as Evangelicals Scripture is important, holding it as the word of God, as inspired and as one that is able to instruct us and to lead us not just in doctrine but even in our own expression and life. Scripture is supreme and is upheld in every way. We find our name in the Evangel. That is our identity and is sufficient to bring us together and need no other thing to bring us together. Census established Evangelicals as being 20.4% of the population of Kenya about 10.5 Million people then but now the figures have grown
to over 12 Million and the way questions were framed was a little bit confusing making it difficult for some people to ascertain where they belonged. The Evangelical wing of the Church is the wing that is growing, and it does that through evangelism, daring to places where the Gospel has not been preached before, the one that is bold enough to establish ministries and churches, and the people who are breaking away from other mainstream ministries are actually coming into the Evangelical fold for space to preach and to grow in ministry. He took stoke of the growth that the Evangelical church made from 2016 to date by asking the members present on their individual growth and there was a 10% evident growth.
He stressed on the important place and role the clergy and churches play and the influence in shaping up of the direction things take.
2. Where are we?
Evangelicals have presence in basically every area of the 1363 Wards across the country. 87 wards in North Eastern in Mandera, Wajir apart from in the Municipalities, and parts of Garissa where EAK has more presence other than in the Municipalities. EAK is conducting a scoping analysis for presence in order to know her capital and the capital of the church. Activity of the church in a mobilized and united way has great impact and we can achieve that through participating in the integral Mission as Jesus did when he said the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, our
presence and status of the church is important as we all engage together
3. Where are we going?
EAK has a commitment of “Transforming Kenya County by County” as a rallying call as well as a Vision and Mission.
If Kenya must be transformed, then we must be transformed where we are.
Dr. Makanda shared that God has called the church as a watchman, watchmen of the city and watchmen of the country watching over the city gates and deal with the enemy before he gets into the city acting, praying together and seeking God’s hand together. WE have been called not to just watch at the doors of our churches, but watching over the city gates and the nation gates at large.
4. How do we get there?
This is a question of strategy. Strategy helps people get where they want to go. EAK new Strategic Plan has four areas,
I. One is Holistic Development: As you go, Jesus commanded three things, Making of disciples, Baptize them and teach them to obey. This area is to ensure that EAK churches are equipping saints for works of service where member live their faith daily. Psalms 78:1-8, Judges 2:7-10 Making disciples entails strategy for disciple making which involves doing it across generations
II. Community Transformation: How are we as EAK using faith to transform and bring about change in addressing the challenges affecting our community? How are our churches impacting the community? What contribution are our churches and clergy making in the community?
III. Public Leadership and Governance: Here we are asking, does governance matter? If it does, preparing of people in engaging is important. Engaging in Nyumba Kumi Initiative, ward and in civic activities is vital. Romans 13 looks at Political leaders, Civic leaders as God ‘servants and colleagues in ministry. Concerted efforts of the church can determine the environment that governs us. The church can Pastor the nation and mentor the leaders for evil not to overcome them. The desire is that clergy pastor the political candidates for peaceful elections. It is critical to check on them, pray with them, encourage them, calm their hearts, know their challenges so that they are not overcome by evil and rage for that is the role of a pastor and the church. EAK has established Evangel Mediation Council
IV. Strengthening Capacity of EAK Churches and Institutions: This focusses on strengthening churches and ministers’ capacity. Help the clergy to know how to engage and navigate the present challenges and come about with solutions that are scripturally backed.
V. Strengthening Organization Capacity of EAK: This is internal and entails endowing the EAK staff, commissions and member with ability, skill and enhance the facilitation of EAK governance structures to execute her functions and mandate.
11: Way forward
A: Candidates Personal Accountability
– Chapter 6 of the Kenyan Constitution
– Patriotism, national unity and cohesion
– Peace (Non-violence)
B: Candidates and Parties PUBLIC
– All the above including
– Check party primaries
– Rule of law
C: Accompanying and collaboration with
Clarity of roles and responsibility
– National Police Service
– Registrar of Persons
D: Churches Internal Code of Conduct
– Guidance/ Guidelines as per Pastoral letter
– EAK Code of Conduct
– EAK trainings and Media engagements
– Standard Operations Programmes (SOPs)
– Civic Education
E Situation Room Processes: Pre and On
– Monitoring and Observation
– Early warning and Response
– Civic Education
– Peace and Mediation
– Participation of churches/ individuals
Networking and synergy
In view of the status of the forthcoming General Elections on 9th of August 2022, establishment of Task forces at every level and usually involvement of all these units within structure guarantees success. Political Leaders must be held accountable and that can only take root through establishment of a facilitative framework. The church and clergy have a duty in ensuring that there are peaceful, credible, free and fair elections. Elections are always a catalyst of either good or bad things.
In line with the 2022 Elections, the church needs to ask itself the following questions, what is it that has been done? What are the gaps? How can those gaps be filled? Who is to fill those gaps?
What are the resources needed to have the gaps sealed?
As concerned citizens, action must be taken to prevent Kenya from a repeat of 2007 experience. Political Candidates are the key players and Political Parties the greatest vehicles used to take people into power and recognition of that fact makes it imperative for engaging of the two. The church/clergy/Religious institution must certainly participate in the entire electoral process for national stability.
Evangelical Alliance of Kenya through Evangel Mediation Council and her Governance and Administrative structures and with other partners shall continuously engage in ensuring that
there are peaceful, credible, free and fair elections.