Churches criticise IEBC for clearing politicians with integrity questions

Rev Peter Karanja (right) and Bishop Mark Kariuki during Dialogue Reference Group briefing. [David Gichuru, Standard]

Religious groups have hit out at the electoral agency for allowing politicians with integrity questions to run in the August 8 polls.

The groups under the auspices of Dialogue Reference Group (DRG) described the move by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as a huge setback on the war against corruption.

The leaders appealed to Kenyans to reject candidates facing integrity issues at the ballot.

“Use your ballot by voting out every person who has integrity questions on their character,” said the leaders.

The leaders expressed their concern on what they termed as threats to realisation of peaceful elections.

“The group has noted that there is rampant violation of the electoral laws and specifically the code of conduct. This denotes a strong failure on the part of IEBC to enforce the law,” they said.

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The group backed the Opposition’s plan to set up a vote tallying centre, saying they found nothing wrong with any political party or coalition establishing its own internal result tallying system as long as final results were announced by IEBC.

On the controversial Sh2.5 billion tender award to Al Ghurair of Dubai to print ballot papers, the leaders called on the electoral agency to institute dialogue with stakeholders while proceeding with the process.

“Unless a party is willing to go to court and secure a directive to the contrary, IEBC should be left to implement the elections timetable,” they said.

The statement was signed by National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, Hindu Council of Kenya, Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM), Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), National Muslim Leaders Forum (NAMLEF), Organisation of African Instituted Churches and Seventh Day Adventist (SDA).

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