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Tally Centres, Commentators May Cause Havoc in Kenya - Church Cautions

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The caution came moments after unofficial tally centres emerged posting varying figures from Tuesday's polls, purporting to represent the counting exercise. But the head of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in Kenya Bishop John Obala Owaa cautioned against the tally centres announcing results as authentic or official.
Blue for Raila, Yellow for Ruto
As vote counting progressed towards the climax, the Roman Catholic Church in Kenya warned against actions and words that could derail the otherwise peaceful election.

The caution came moments after unofficial tally centres emerged posting varying figures from Tuesday's polls, purporting to represent the counting exercise. But the head of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in Kenya Bishop John Obala Owaa cautioned against the tally centres announcing results as authentic or official.

"Many actors have been allowed to have tally centres, but can you tell them to emphasise that the results that they are issuing are provisional?", Owaa pleaded with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

This, according to him creates anxiety and might cause disruption of peace. He was speaking at a media briefing by the IEBC that was characterised by prayer and songs of worship by different choirs from Kenya and Tanzania.

Relying on these tally centres could not give a clear picture of the outcome of the elections as each of the two top candidates was being separately projected as leading. This was despite the repeated message by commission chairman Wafula Chebukati that there were only three official Talley centres; one for the county, another for the constituency and the one at the Bomas for the presidential vote count.

Meanwhile, Chebukati hailed Kenyans for turning up in huge numbers to cast the vote, despite some polling stations opening late due to delayed arrival of the materials. Turn-up was estimated at around 50 per cent. According to the register, 22 million people were eligible to vote.

Chebukati said the law gives the commission seven days to announce the winner but said they were doing everything possible to complete the process as soon as possible.

Bishop Owaa said peace was a responsibility of all but that the politicians in this case can prevent chaos.

"Candidates, losers and commentators should carefully consider their words and actions with respect to the results that are announced. No one should incite the public to engage in violence on account of the results," He said.

Meanwhile, at least 26 people were arrested and 65 escaped as police in intercepted them on their way from Uganda to allegedly vote in Kenya. www.Nation.africa reported that the escapees were helped by Endebess MP Robert Pukose who allegedly opened the door of one of the trucks, helping them to escape, while the occupants of the second truck were arrested.

The MP said these were his eligible voters registered to vote in Endebss constituency, Trans Nzoia County. Over the last few days, there have been reports of Kenyan residents in Uganda crossing the border to cast their votes.

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