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Catholics condemn disruption Mock election

29 March 2012, 11:48 Alloys Musyoka

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The community of the Catholic Diocese of Malindi has condemned the recent IEBC officials and police officers attack at St. Andrews poling station by suspected members of the outlawed Mombasa Republican council group.

Three police officers were roughed up by the group when they were manning the polling station during Mock election conducted by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission in Malindi and Kajiado north.

Addressing a press conference at Catholic Institute, Malindi Catholic Diocese Bishop Emmanuel Barbara condemned the violence act in the strongest terms possible and appealed to the community in the region to guard jealously the peace they have experienced over decades.
Bishop Barabara said as the country nears general election date government should solve the issues with the group to avoid repeat of Posts Election Violence of 2007/08.

Bishop Barabara

He said that the Catholic Church wondered why a community that has lived together for years sharing same facilities and many other things in the region could suddenly change.

Bishop Barabara warned that violence cannot be used to address grievances and urged both parties involved in the ongoing conflict at the Coast province to use dialogue in addressing the root cause of their problems.

“Without taking sides in the ongoing conflict between the government and the outlawed Mombasa Republican Council, we warn that violence can not be used to solve problems. In reality violence begets violence. It goes against the truth of all our religions and destroys what it claims to defend; the freedom, dignity and life of human beings,” he stressed.

He said that not all Coast people who were being involved in the conflict with the government but a certain group of people from the Coast whom he urged to settle the matter with the government instead of causing violence in the region.

The Bishop went further to condemn any individuals taking advantage of innocent youths and use them as agents of violence noting that young people should be respected and loved instead of being used to cause chaos.

“The act of using youths in violent activities is one of inhuman acts and which are uncalled for,” he noted with concern.
He urged youths to shun away ideologies that are divisive and destructive to the society and become agents of peace and development instead of destruction saying youths were used to cause chaos during the Posts Election Violence.

“Youths were used to cause violence and we don’t want that to be repeated because elections are near,” he noted.
Bishop Barabara however appealed to the suspected youths who also disarmed a police officer of his G3 riffle to return it back and embrace peace and commit the region to mutual accommodation and non violent participation.

“By accommodating each other will lead to stronger unity and advance our social relation in development, coexistence collaboration and cohesion,” he asserted.

Last Saturday Mock election conducted by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission were disrupted at one of the polling station where armed youths attacked IEBC officials and police officers manning the station and injured hem before they disarmed one officer of his loaded G3 riffle.

Later after the incident three religious leaders were arrested for being suspected to be among the attackers and released on police bond of 0.5 each on Sunday.

Police are still pursuing the attackers in a bid to trace the stolen government firearm.

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