Kenya goes to the polls on 8 August 2017. The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited their faithful and all people of good will, to join in praying for the country. After the 2007 general election, Kenya experienced its worst politically triggered ethnic violence since independence. The violence was caused by a dispute between the two main presidential candidates Raila Odinga and the former President Mwai Kibaki, who was defending his seat on a Party of National Unity ticket.
The coming August 8 general election is again expected to be characterized by tensions. As it happens in Africans’ countries, mass joblessness youth is often a targeted group during conflict. According to Kenya Business Daily, “nearly one in every five Kenyan youths of working age has no job compared to neighboring countries, Uganda and Tanzania, where about one in every 20-young people is jobless.”
Based on the experience of 2007 general elections, “appeal to the youth in the country to restrain themselves from violence and instead urge them to become agents of peace. They encourage young people to embrace a culture of peace and to engage in peace-building activities.” In response to Bishop’s invitation, the Divine Word Missionaries (SVD) Youth in Eldoret (Kenya) started a novena for peace in the country as they approach General Election on 8th of August 2017.
Fr. Arata Sato, Svd with the youth in Eldoret (Kenya)