The Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) has urged the political leadership to demonstrate tolerance as the country approaches to mark the Holy Month of Ramadhan in the next few days.
This comes after protests rocked parts of the country leading to a standoff between citizens and security agencies, a situation that brought business to a standstill particularly in the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) leading to massive losses and scores being injured.
CIPK Organising Secretary Sheikh Mohamed Khalifa called on leaders skewed on organising the popular protests to call them off in respect to the fast approaching Holy Month as it will be devoted to prayer and dedication.
“The council pleads with all leaders in the country irrespective of the political divide to cease propagating an agenda that will bring turmoil to our beloved nation. As Muslims around the globe prepare to mark Ramadhan, we ask for peace and tranquility as we have dedicated the Month to prayer and solace seeking from God,” said Khalifa.
The cleric lauded the Counties that maintained normalcy and asked Kenyans from the traditionally agriculturally productive areas to take advantage of the rains to plant and cultivate food in order to counter the long spells of famine the country has experienced over the last three years.
Khalifa added that the spirit of generosity displayed by Kenyans during the tough drought should be extended through the Ramadhan. He said it would be noble for the privileged in society to help the less advantaged as a sign of oneness and patriotism.
“Strife and protests are not the solutions to our problems, especially now that the government is making efforts to bring down the high cost of living. Our institutions are mandated by the constitution to step-in in the event difficulties occur, let us make full use of them,” he said.
The call for tolerance by Muslims came just hours after Azimio leader Raila Odinga asked his supporters to shun services and products from telecom Safaricom, KCB bank, and media company Radio Africa.
He said the opposition action against the corporates was because of their alleged affiliation with the Kenya Kwanza administration.
“We call for the boycott of Safaricom, Kenya Commercial Bank and Radio Africa media, particularly The Star newspaper, who have become enablers and facilitators of this brutal regime,” Mr Odinga said.
The opposition leader also announced that anti-government protests would now take place twice a week – Mondays and Thursdays, from next week. Mr Odinga said this was in response to public demand.