By Ter Manyang Gatwech
4th August 2017(Nyamilepedia) —– The International Youth for Africa (IYA) wishes Kenyan democratic and peaceful elections while electing new office bearers for the next five years. The Kenyan Constitution states that there will be a general election on the second Tuesday on 8th August, 2017.
IYA calls upon the Presidential candidates to urge their respective members, supporters, sympathisers and well – wishers to desist from any unlawful acts that can plunge the country into chaos. They should also protect the Kenyan democracy especially the New Constitution and uphold Multiparty democracy where all citizens have equal rights to participate in free and fair elections and vote for candidates of their choices.
The two rival tribes; the Kikuyu and the Luo continue to compete for power in Kenya’s Presidential Election, in a relationship that goes back to before independence. In the previous elections, President Uhuru Kenyatta won the ODM opposition candidate, Raila Odinga.
The election turned out to be violent leading to the death of many innocent civilians and others fleeing their own country in 2007-2008. 1) Every citizen is free to make political choices, which includes the right–(a) to form, or participate in forming, a political party;
(b) to participate in the activities of, or recruit members for, a political party; or
(c) to campaign for a political party or cause.(2) Every citizen has the right to free, fair and regular elections based on universal suffrage and the free expression of the will of the electors for–(a) Any elective public body or office established under this Constitution; or
(b) any office of any political party of which the citizen is a member.(3) Every adult citizen has the right, without unreasonable restrictions, –(a) to be registered as a voter;
(b) to vote by secret ballot in any election or referendum; and
(c) to be a candidate for public office, or office within a political party of which the citizen is a member and, if elected, to hold office.
President Kenyatta is contesting the poll under the banner of the Jubilee Party which is a merger between The National Alliance Party (TNA), which he led, and the United Republican Party (URP) of his deputy, William Ruto.
We urge all supporters of the two candidates to observe democracy, peace and stability before and after the elections so that they avoid the scenario of the post-election violence in 2007.To the leaders, we urge you to continue being peaceful (non – violent) and avoid using a language that can instigate the voters to kill each other, and fight for the rights of ordinary Kenyans who suffer from all types of atrocities.
The 2017 General Election is very sensitive not only to Kenyans but to the neighbouring countries and other stakeholders. The Religious leaders should preach the gospel of peace, unity and development to all Kenyans irrespective of the tribes, sex, religion and colour. I also urge all politicians to encourage their supporters to exercise and preach peace in the country, the politicians on the other hand should not make utterances which could spur tension in the country. The politicians should be on the fore front of uniting Kenyans no matter the results, so that we do not end up with two capital cities.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should conduct the elections according to the provisions of the laws of Kenya and should announce a candidate who has won a free and fair election. IEBC should not rig the election and attempt to announce a candidate who was not voted for overwhelmingly by the Kenyans. Otherwise, this will plunge the country into chaos just like other countries that have experienced election violence and civil wars.
The Security Agencies in Kenya must ensure that there is peace and security in the country before and after the elections. They should be non- partisan since the constitution protects their independence including that of the Judiciary.
All Kenyan citizens should be peaceful and reject all the politicians who want to incite them against each other and tear the country apart.
The international community especially the UN, Human Rights bodies, ICC and others should send their election observers to monitor the elections.
International Youth for Africa [IYA] is non-partisan, non-political and Non-Governmental Organization and Civil Society Organization [CSO] that works to bring difference communities together as a way to ensure, peace and reconciliation, human rights, gender equality, justice, increasing demand for a collective platform for research, training and policy advocacy for young people by young people in South Sudan and Africa at large. IYA founded on the 2nd of March 2015. While maintaining its original goal of empowering the young people, organizations, institutions and communities at the grassroots through initiatives aimed at promoting a culture of non-violence, peace and socioeconomic development in South Sudan.
Ter Manyang Gatwech,
International Youth for Africa (IYA)
Face book: International Youth for Africa-IYA