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Churches call on restraint from political leaders

10 June 2014, 18:03

Nairobi - Churches have called on leaders to elicit restraint when dealing with issues that could divide Kenyans along ethnic and political lines.

Recent weeks have seen political temperatures rise in the country thanks to the CORD coalition's call for national dialogue and protests over the state of the nation.

The calls have seen both sides of the divide exchange words in public, raising debate on social media that has more than often shifted to ethnic divisions.

Speaking in Nairobi Tuesday during the Inter religious conference on national cohesion, National Council of Churches of Kenya, General Secretary Rev. Canon Peter Karanja called on politicians to refrain from inciting Kenyans.

" There is fear that some political leaders have been using ethnic identity and inflammatory statements to mobilize political support. The result is that people are left polarized along ethnic lines and that in itself is a worry, he said.

He called on cooperation and unity between leaders, urging them to point towards peace first then political allegiances later.

" Political leaders must recognise the need to cooperate with their opponents as a means of fostering meaningful reconciliation and ultimately national cohesion, he added.

Speaking at the same function, president Uhuru Kenyatta called on parliament to pass legislation that will quicken efforts to raise national cohesion.

" We must all raise efforts to improve national cohesion and that begins with legislation that lies in parliament and which must be dealt with as a matter of urgency, he said.

The upcoming rallies by the CORD coalition to protest the current state of the nation will also likely put cohesion efforts on the spotlight, but the coalition has said it is doing what is in its power to ensure the country is led in the right way.

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