FCPT Puts Forward Election Observers

With barely a month left to the August 9 General Elections in Kenya, a number of electoral processes have reached high octane with Kenya’s Electoral Commission and other electoral institutions finalizing preparations for the August polls. Friends Church Peace Team Coordinator Getry Agiza and the Friends United Meeting Africa Ministries Office, under the banner of Dumisha Amani (“Peace our Heritage”) is committed to working for credible and peaceful elections. They have recruited over 175 election observers from across the country, whose main mandate is strengthening democracy by monitoring and observing the electoral process. These 175 election observers have been approved by Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and are expected to maintain high integrity and develop a non-partisan approach during the polls.As Kenya undergoes an economic roller coaster that has resulted in an increased cost of living, recent reports from the Electoral Observation Group have pointed to a surge of voter bribery in the form of food distribution and services by parties and candidates. This has been further escalated by candidates buying or attempting to buy National Identity Cards (IDs) from voters.There have been reports of intimidation and the use of demeaning, insulting, and abusive language. In some instances, there have also been incidences of body shaming and issuing of threats to candidates, parties, and voters. These are clear signs of upcoming election mayhem that need to be addressed as soon as possible.FCPT field staff continue to preach peace through conferences, distributing peace leaflet messages, and holding meetings with boda boda operators (who are seen as perpetrators of election violence). They also look forward to conducting trainings for election observers soon.