Fr. Devine appeals for justice to prevail

Clashaganny native Fr. Padraig Devine is chairperson of the Religious Superiors Conference of Kenya (RSCK).   In that capacity, in correspondence dated 1 st of January last, Fr. Devine wrote to colleagues (including Bishops) in the wake of the violence which claimed over 300 lives following the disputed Kenyan elections.    In his correspondence, Fr. Devine stressed that the RSCK, with the Bishops of Kenya, have a responsibility to be critically objective and above party or ethnic politics at this ‘historical juncture’ for the Kenyan nation.    With reference to the recent election Fr. Devine says that those people who were involved in collecting and counting votes and announcing the results have ‘serious moral and legal questions’ to answer.    He stresses the need to address the intensity, deepening and politicisation of ethnic divisions and hatred in Kenya.    He says the loss of life and violence of recent days has reached unacceptable heights and calls for people’s convictions and actions to be based on justice, truth and peace if ‘this beloved country’ is to avoid falling into further chaos and even a move towards deeds reminiscent of what happened in Rwanda and Kosovo.     Stating that people feel abandoned, deserted, confused and isolated, Fr. Devine said there is now an urgent need for political and religious leaders to honestly evaluate their own role at this time of crisis – in terms of their ‘vision and leadership.’    Fr. Devine indicated that the KEC should advocate the creation of an independent arbitration form/body – which would have an international dimension and be accepted by all parties – in order to find a resolution to the present political crisis in Kenya.    ‘Ultimately this country needs peace and reconciliation based on justice for a people who have endured far too much pain. The people need to hear a message of hope and support from the religious leaders of this country.’