Mainstream churches are finding it hard to preach ‘peace’ following what is becoming a new industry of commercial peace peddlers in the country particularly around elections period.
Ahead of the August 8 elections, peace preachers have held mass prayers rallies, peace concerts, sponsored peace messages and in some regions are moving door-to-door to preach peace.
Increasingly, however, Kenyans are calling for a free, fair and credible elections as a bare minimum for peace, a message that contrasts the ‘peace at all costs’ gospel of the donor funded peace artists.
The peace peddlers, now referred to as ‘peacepreneurs’, are a mix of civil society groups, business leaders, some former media personalities and evangelical religious groups who spring up around elections to focus only on peace as a means to an electoral outcome and are never as concerned with other aspects of elections as credibility, fairness, freedom to vote and venerability.
The ‘peacepreneurs’ are heavily funded by the government and certain international NGOs to develop peace messages geared towards letting politicians accept the outcome of the election, especially when there are justifiable grounds to reject the same.
In the post-2013 polls, the same ‘peacepreneurs’ came up with “accept and move on” and, or, “go to court” which baited the then CORD opposition into lodging a petition to the Supreme Court.
In this election, both President Uhuru and NASA Leader Raila Odinga have both pledged to go to accept defeat if they lose fairly. President Uhuru has added he will go to court, however, NASA’s Raila Odinga has played his post-election moves closer to his chest, only insisting that the elections must be free, fair, credible and verifiable.