Don't plunge Kenya into chaos, evangelicals tell Raila, Ruto

President William Ruto (left) and Azimio leader Raila Odinga.  

President William Ruto (left) and Azimio leader Raila Odinga.  

Photo credit: Ondari Ogega | Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

The Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK) board is the latest to add its voice to the volatile political situation pitting President William Ruto against Azimio coalition leader Raila Odinga.

Following a meeting on Friday, the board called on political leaders to desist from inflammatory utterances that could plunge the nation into chaos.

It said issues raised by leaders of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition should be dealt with in a manner that promotes unity.

"We urge the President, as a symbol of national unity, to rise to the occasion and steer this country to national unity and prosperity for all," says a statement signed by the board chairperson, Bishop David Oginde and secretary-general, Dr Nelson Makanda.

The board noted that peace and unity can only happen if political leaders set aside their differences.

Further, it proposed avenues for dealing with the high cost of living, including suspending or delaying expenditure and some taxation, facilitating relief measures towards the cost of energy and implementing austerity measures earlier highlighted by President Ruto.

"We appreciate and recognise efforts to import duty-free foodstuff and other materials to reduce the cost of living," the statement said.

The alliance also asked political leaders to exhibit patriotism, uphold national unity and prioritise the common good rather than selfish interests.

"It is crucial that our leaders strive to create a cohesive society where individuals and groups work together towards a shared vision. We cannot afford to be a divided nation."

Many leaders have proposed solutions to the issues between Dr Ruto and Mr Odinga but both sides have remained adamant, saying they do not want a handshake.

Mr Odinga is planning anti-government protests every Monday and Thursday, to push the Kenya Kwanza administration to take steps to lower the cost of living. He also says he does not recognize President Ruto’s government, which he describes as illegitimate.

The President says he will only engage with the former prime minister to discuss issues affecting Kenyans, not to fulfill Azimio’s demands.