Thursday, January 24, 2008
JOINT STATEMENT BY RELIGIOUS LEADERS FROM THE KALENJIN COMMUNITY!
Bishop Joseph Murupus
Bishop William Tuimising
JOINT STATEMENT BY RELIGIOUS LEADERS FROM THE KALENJIN COMMUNITY UNDER THE AUSPICES OF EMO COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY ON THE POST ELECTION VIOLENCE IN KENYA
We the spiritual leaders made up of Bishops, Pastors and Preachers from various churches from the Kalenjin community are extremely concerned about the situation in our country. Kenya has been known the world over as a haven of peace even in the midst of chaos and turmoil that has beset many African countries. That peace has now been shattered.
We deplore the unnecessary loss of life, wanton destruction of property, looting, rape, displacement of persons and many ills we have witnessed in our country the past few days.
We are encouraged by the numerous mediation efforts from world leaders and locals and prayers from many people all over the world who would wish to see Kenyans live peacefully and progressively as before. However we believe ultimately the solution must come from within ourselves. We therefore took it upon ourselves to pray fervently to God and seek his face and direction about this calamity that has come upon our Nation. After daylong prayer and deliberations we would like to say as follows:
1. In spite of many claims of planned rigging, threats and claims and counterclaims by the protagonists, the electioneering period up to the actual voting was conducted peacefully. In fact many Kenyans were feeling proud of themselves in the evening of 27th December and to all of us Kenya had demonstrated to the whole world she had matured democratically.
2. The unprecedented violence that rocked most parts of the country and particularly Rift Valley Province was precipitated by announcement of disputed poll results by ECK. People all over Kenya (and the world) watched it all on TV and followed on radio what many believe was LIVE RIGGING of elections at tallying stage.
3. The violence was therefore spontaneous and NOT premeditated. The Bishops and the Clergymen categorically refuse the sick and demonic notion some people maybe harboring that there was any form of planning, training or funding of youth for post election violence. Those making such claims especially against the Kalenjin community must be having other ulterior motives other than the truth.
4. The violence and the chaos were experienced country-wide and not just in the Rift Valley. The only reason the province was more affected is because Rift Valley people have over the years welcomed many other communities and notably the Kikuyu to live among them. It is therefore the most cosmopolitan province in the country unlike others. Would anyone really have expected post election violence in the highly homogenous Central Province?
5. During the Kibaki administration, a strange phenomenon has been witnessed where most of government officers in the provincial administration and security docket in the Rift Valley come from a particular community. Indeed in many instances some of this officers were primarily the cause of the violence due to the careless manner they handled the charged crowds. We are also dismayed that many of the Kalenjins who lost their lives were killed by Police bullets. Some of them were actually hacked with machetes AFTER they were felled with bullets.
6. Whilst understanding the cause of the violence and the spontaneous reaction of many Kenyans, we nevertheless condemn the senseless killings, destruction of property and looting or stealing of any kind. The word of the Lord came to us in prayer in Zachariah 5:3-4 that stealing brings death and destruction. We ask those who have stolen votes and those who have stolen other people's property to repent and return what they have stolen to save the Nation from imminent calamity.
7. Violent clashes have rocked Rift Valley severally in the past. In many instances our people are painted as the aggressors and the other party as the villains. This has happened again this time round. Indeed all the attention including the visits by dignitaries, Nairobi Bishops, NGOs, Media etc is on the IDPs from the Kikuyu community currently sheltering in police stations and other places of refuge. To the whole world NO KALENJIN lost his life or was displaced or is suffering in any way as to require assistance of any kind or compensation. In fact we have many Kalenjins who have died and many displaced and now living with relatives and friends. Who will compensate them? Who will compensate the farmer who has not delivered his milk since 31st December? How about the tea rotting in the farms that cannot be delivered? We will NOT allow demonizing of a community that has been so magnanimous as to turn their ancestral land into the only truly Kenyan Province with all tribes living peacefully and owning property. Rift Valley is not cosmopolitan because it is BIG, but because its people have BIG HEARTS!
8. A committee was formed to investigate and document independent statistics of the cost of the violence to all affected. The committee was also mandated to meet with religious leaders from the Kikuyu community from the Rift Valley and initiate positive dialogue aimed at finding a long lasting solution to this perennial problem.
9. Recognizing that the Kalenjins traditionally governed themselves by consensus, and fearing that the international mediation have collapsed, EMO was mandated to urgently call for a Kalenjin leaders meeting on Monday 14th Jan 2008 in order to deliberate on the way out of the crisis as a community.
10. Meanwhile we call on the country for a serious prayer and intercession for Truth, Justice and Peace. Let each and every one of us PRAY LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER PRAYED BEFORE!
Signed on Behalf of over 120 Bishops and Clergy
1. Bishop Joseph Murupus
2. Bishop William Tuimising
3. Rev Jakson Koskei
4. Rev Daniel Chemon
5. Edwin Killong
6. Rev David Bett
7. Rev Eli Rop
8. Rev Samuel Kikwai
9. Rev Elijah Yego
A.I.C FELLOWSHIP ELDORET
11TH January 2008