from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – ENVOYS posted in Kenya have made a frantic call on parties and supporters to prevent the East African country degenerating into mayhem on election day on Thursday.
The diplomats, in a last minute attempt to ensure normalcy after months of tensions, expressed disappointment by efforts of political parties to undermine Kenyan institutions.
“Kenya is at risk of losing much of what it has gained since 2008 unless it comes together at this crucial moment to preserve its democracy and fundamental freedoms,” they warned.
Over 1 000 people were killed and 600 000 displaced after disputed polls in 2007/08.
The envoys thus called on Kenyans to reject violence, uphold the Constitution, and engage in dialogue to resolve deep divisions.
“As long-standing partners, our governments have watched the unfolding developments around Kenya’s fresh presidential election with profound sadness,” the envoys stated.
They had hoped and have repeatedly called for Kenyans to come together to hold a better election in line with the historic order of the Supreme Court on September 1.
“We regret that the Supreme Court was unable to hear yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) case that raised important questions regarding the election. We would have preferred that the case be heard before the election. We strongly deplore any attempts to obstruct the judicial process.”
The diplomats also condemned the attack on the bodyguard of Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu.
Mwilu’s aide, identified by local media as Police Constable Titus Musyoka, was injured on Tuesday.
The concerned envoys are from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden,
Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States, among others.
Violence has gripped Kenya since incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta was announced the winner of the August 8 poll, ahead of Raila Odinga, who claimed vote rigging.
The Supreme Court annulled the poll in September. Odinga is boycotting the latest poll.
Police have allegedly killed scores of opposition supporters in the ensuing deadlock.
– CAJ News