Kenyan politicians reject Nakuru NCIC peace initiative
A peace initiative in Nakuru County being spearheaded by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) hangs in the balance after local political leaders refused to embrace it.
All the six MPs in the county have given the peace initiative a wide berth and snubbed a peace caravan that traversed the region last weekend. NCIC chairman Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia in an effort to reconcile and encourage peaceful co-existence between the Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities launched the three- day peace caravan.
However, the MPs and local politicians have been calling for an all-inclusive process in order to realise effective harmony during forthcoming transition period into devolved system of governance.
On Tuesday, Kalenjin Council of Elders member Wilson Leitich accused some of the politicians opposed to the peace deal of disrespecting the elders for claiming they had been picked from the streets. “Some of us have an impressive public record and you cannot just claim we were picked from the streets,” the veteran politician said.
But some residents cautioned that the NCIC would not achieve much without the involvement of local politicians who hold significant influence within their communities.
“Without the input of local leaders, the elders and NCIC will not achieve much as the politicians hold sway in their areas. The role of politicians in stoking and defusing ethnic tension is key, especially as we head to the elections,” said Mr Bernard Mwangi, a victim of past ethnic clashes in Molo.
The commission has drafted a “Peace Accord” to be signed later this month that is expected to provide a roadmap for similar deals in other counties experiencing ethnic tensions across the county. “We are optimistic that Nakuru’s successful signing of Peace Accord will provide a roadmap to similar deals in other counties,” said Dr Kibunjia.
By KARANJA NJOROGE, The Standard
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