Els bisbes davant les eleccions

Com decideix el vot un cristià? Poden dir-hi alguna cosa els bisbes? I a la resta de ciutadans?

Aquestes preguntes que ara estan de moda per la nota de la Conferencia Episcopal davant les properes eleccions no són alienes a Kenya.

Allà, al mes d’agost ja es va glossar a les homilies del diumenge una carta pastoral dels bisbes davant les eleccions de desembre. No deixa de tenir la seva gràcia comparar ambdues notes (la dels bisbes kenyans està sencera aquí). Per exemple, fan campanya decidida per entendre Kenya com un país i una democràcia en construcció, parlen de la corrupció, de conflictes d’interessos o de la necessitat d’una educació cívica.

Algunes de les consideracions dels bisbes, que en aquell moment ens van semblar simplement curioses, amb els mesos s’ha vist que eren importants. Copiem les característiques que cal que tingui un candidat (wananchi és el terme swahili que significa ciutadans):

L’arquebisbe Ndingi mwana a’ Nzeki, arquebisde de Nairobi fins l’octubre de 2007

5. QUALITIES OF CANDIDATES FOR ELECTIONSWe are calling on all Kenyans to inform themselves adequately on those seeking election. It is not enough to know the candidates qualities vaguely. We must establish their stand on relevant issues and know their track record on honesty and uprightness.
There is no shortage of candidates for the many elected posts in our country . From our perspective, wananchi must be careful to elect honest and trustworthy candidates. If a corrupt person is elected , the long cycle of deprivation and abuse of office will be prolonged and moral fibre of our nation will continue to be eroded.
Our dear Kenyans, we would like to outline some of these qualities that we should look for as we exercise our democratic right. All of us citizens expect the following values or principles to be incorporated into the vision of our leaders.
1. Religious freedom for all people living in Kenya be upheld and respected.
2. The dignity of each and every human person be enhanced and protected
3. Everybody should respect the basic right to life from the moment of conception to natural death. This means no abortions, no Euthanasia and no capital punishment. The fifth commandment of God instructs “you shall not kill” (Ex.20:13).
4. Elected leaders shall recognize the centrality of the family in society and defend it.
5. Elected leaders shall promote the common good where all people participate and benefit from the goods available. Selfishness and greed must stop.
6. Leaders must protect the interest of the weak, and the poor and the marginalized in society wherever they found.
7. Leaders must support measures which guarantee security for all in whichever place or situation in which people find themselves. The rule of law and order must be up held.
8. Idleness is causing a lot of problems for our country. So leaders must promote the right to work, the right of workers and employees. Kenya must be a working nation if it has to achieve its goals.
9. Our political leaders must work towards providing access to water regular food, good roads, quality education and health care.
10. Leaders must ensure that measures are taken to protect the environment.
11. Elected leaders must foster the culture of living together in peace, justice for all, dialogue, political tolerance and living according to the rule of law and order. The leaders should not divide wananchi along tribal lines but work-together as unified nation, for prosperity.
12. Any candidate promoting violence or inciting people to violence or promoting hatred should not be elected.
13. Kenyans need elected leaders who will handle the perennial problem of land affecting the nation. Some individual people own massive lands and others are born and live in the gutters and streets of our cities and in the mountains. Many others are perpetual squatters and thus are reduced to sub-human living. We urge displaced persons should be resettled.
14. Leaders must ensure more equitable distribution of natural and national resources of Kenya to help build one nation.

I les últimes recomanacions:


We ask that all those that wananchi have not elected to accept the results and cooperate fully with those who have been elected. Let the election increase the bonds of unity in our nation.


In order to vote correctly people must have an informed mind and conscience. They must know the relevant issues and the qualities of candidates as outlined above. Civic education is therefore a necessity. From past experience, we know that the quality of civic education has not formed people enough. We have witnessed the organizing of groups to incite violence, as well as “the buying of votes” or voting cards. Too often, the civic education sessions have been turned into political rallies. This time around, we are appealing to all converned to give space for proper civic education. This is part of the “level playing field” that is often forgotten or not even mentioned.

The people must not be impoverished or be denied their basic rights by the use of money, or kind, to influence their voting patter: such practices dehumanize people and make them unduly dependent on the purpoted “bread-providers”. The role of civic education is to educate not to manipulate. And therefore, like in the past, the Catholic Church will be fully involved in civic education through its Catholic Justice and Peace Commission.


We appeal to all Catholics and people of good will, to employ dialogue at this sensitive time for the betterment of everyone. The relationships that are established in a climate of dialogue overcome ethnic divisions and ideological differences. Dialogue prompts people to seek out what unites rather than what divides them.

Finally, our strong message is an appeal to all to endeavour to build the civilization of love. It is only love for God and for one another that can transform the human person and the entire Kenyan society.

No pensàvem pas a l’agost que aquestes línies fossin advertències tan profètiques.

Una alumna del col·legi Loreto, a Limuru, amb la parròquia de St. Joseph

Bisbes i mitjans de comunicació

La gent de Kenya és molt religiosa; es comprova a simple vista quan un s’hi passeja. Els mitjans de comunicació de Kenya són dels més treballats de l’Àfrica oriental. Potser això permet escriure amb aquest títol sobre una iniciativa que ara per ara aquí seria ben estranya.

Bé, d’això ja fa uns dies. I a més el títol només és una mitja veritat, perquè del que es va tractar és d’una pregària interconfessional, tal com explica la Kenya Broadcasting Corporation. Però no deixa de ser interessant:

All local radio and television stations in Kenya on Sunday aired a special joint prayer session for peace at 6PM local time.
The one-hour program dubbed ‘Prayer for peace, Kenyans unite’, involved leaders from the Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Muslim and Hindu faiths who converged to pray for peace, unity, truth and justice.
Songs, hymns, poems and inspirational messages from various musicians and choirs were featured during the program.
The program is part of the ongoing media campaign in the search for peace in the country.
Sunday’s program follows another one held on Thursday where radio and television stations suspended normal schedules to air a special program calling on Kenyans to exercise restraint while local newspapers ran a similar front-page headline; ‘Save Our Beloved Country’.

Però el més rellevant és que la iniciativa va venir dels mitjans: el Media Council (amb una web sense actualitzar…).

La notícia recollida al Daily Nation posava de relleu que els mitjans s’han implicat en la defensa del futur del seu país, tot i les dificultats que han tingut aquests dies per fer emissions en directe, fent seu el lema “Save Our Beloved Country“:

According to the Media Council chairman, Mr Wachira Waruru, the initiative is part of the ongoing media campaign to remain pro-active in the search for peace.
On Thursday, all the major local newspapers ran a similar front-page headline – Save Our Beloved Country – while TV and radio stations suspended normal schedules to air special programmes calling on Kenyans to exercise restraint.
“Today’s programme to be aired simultaneously on all stations will aim at praying for peace, truth and Justice,” Mr Waruru said.