STATEMENT BY WOMEN OF KENYA UNDER THE AFRICAN WOMEN LEADERS NETWORK (AWLN) AND THE WOMEN MEDIATION NETWORK (WMN)

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On 9th August 2022, a little over 14 million Kenyans braved the chilly weather
and exercised their democratic and constitutional right to vote and elect
leaders of their choice. Except for the staff of IEBC, the rest of us went back
home to wait for results. For the large part, Kenyans have been civil and have
maintained peace throughout this process. This is as it should be, and we thank
you.

This is a demonstration that our democracy is maturing and that we as
Kenyans are slowly but surely appreciating that elections are seasonal – they
come and go. However, the country remains. We commend all Kenyans,
Political Parties, Candidates and their agents, and the IEBC for their active
participation in this election and thank God for bringing us to the end of this
season. We also thank the International Community and our neighbouring
Countries for standing with our country. Specifically, we appreciate the UN and
the UNWomen as well as other development partners for supporting the cause
for peace and for women’s leadership.

As is the case with all competitions including a General Election, the process
yields winners and losers. As a country that produces some of the best
athletes in the world, we know this only too well and the 2022 general Election
is not any different. We are convinced that everybody gave it their best. As it
is, we remind ourselves that there remain numerous opportunities for all of us
to serve our communities in diverse ways.

In addition, we remind ourselves that Kenya is a country that respects the rule
of law and this should make us feel that much safer. In this respect, we urge
candidates who may be aggrieved by the results to seek redress through legal
means and avoid actions that may escalate violence. We appreciate that

Kenya has strong institutions with capacity to address disputes of any sort and
plead with all parties that took part in the election to revert to these
institutions as the rest of the country resumes daily activities. We are aware
that all our Four Presidential Candidates had signed a Peace Pledge to maintain
peace before, during and after elections. We plead with them to be faithful to
this commitment as well as any other decision made by the institutions
mandated by our Constitution.

We do well to remember the words written by one journalist who once wrote:
‘To hold power is to have at your disposal blunt instruments. But without
influence, power dies out at the end of its own channels of command. To have
influence is to gain assent, not just an entourage: to have imitators, not just
subordinates. Power gets its way (when it gets it). Influence makes its way.
And in free societies it makes its way faster’ (Times Magazine, June 17th 1996).

As Mothers, we are in pain this morning because one of us, Mother to our son
the late Daniel Musyoka is a broken Mother after losing her son who was only
doing his job as a Returning Officer in Embakasi East before he went missing
and later found dead. Musyoka is just one out of a few others but one too
many. We mourn with our sisters. We feel the pain of these dear sisters and
pray that no other life is lost because of a mere General Election. We call upon
our security apparatus to move quickly with investigations and bring the
murderers of our children to book. This will not take away the pain, but it will
certainly ease and calm our hearts when we know that justice has been done.
May these lives be the last to be wasted.

Finally, we appeal to all mothers, Kenyans of good will and our faith leaders to
earnestly pray for our country so that God will grant continued calm and
peace during this period. As the womb bearers and Mothers of the nation we
are confident that with God’s help, our country will get over this phase. God
bless Kenya