Isiolo clerics want political rallies stopped to stem Covid spread

Isiolo clerics

Isiolo Interfaith Network Chairman Ahmed Sett (centre), Secretary Stephen Kalunyu and Isiolo Women of Faith Chairperson Halima Dida address journalists on January 15, 2021. They appealed to President Kenyatta to ban political rallies to stem the spread of Covid-19.

Photo credit: Waweru Wairimu | Nation Media Group

Religious leaders in Isiolo have appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to ban political rallies, terming them the main spreader of Covid-19.

The clerics under the Isiolo Interfaith Network, said the campaign trails are exposing Kenyans to a lot of risk as the health protocols are not being observed.

The network’s Chairman Ahmed Sett said the political meetings are being done contrary to the law as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission had not given the greenlight for campaigns.

“We are appealing to the President to ban the political rallies until IEBC announces the start of campaigns,” Mr Sett, who is also the National Council of Elders treasurer, said.

They said even after the electoral agency announces the start of campaigns, the government should ensure Covid-19 health protocols are adhered to.

They spoke during a meeting to sensitise their members on spearheading peace before, during and after elections.

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“Our people should also shun the gatherings as it will expose them to the virus,” he said as he appealed to Kenyans to get vaccinated against the viral disease.

The country had by January 23 this year recorded a total of 320,229 Covid-19 cases and 5,554 deaths.

The leaders also appealed to politicians to be mindful of their utterances during campaigns, saying incitement could sink the country into chaos.

“We are asking them to engage in politics of policies and not hate. We want a peaceful Kenya before, during and after elections,” Mr Sett said.

The network’s secretary, Mr Stephen Kalunyu, said they will continue preaching peace at their worship places in efforts to ensure continued peaceful coexistence among communities.

Mr Kalunyu, of the National Independent Church of Africa (NICA), asked young people to shun being used by politicians to cause violence during the electioneering period and instead be agents of peace.

“Let them direct their energy towards peace building and shun being misused by politicians,” the cleric said.

Isiolo Woman of Faith Chairperson Halima Dida called for political tolerance and asked residents not to be divided along tribal and religious lines.

She said women play a vital role in educating the community on the need for residents to live in peace regardless of their tribe or religion.


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