The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has urged the country to focus on building resilience and transformation into a more equal, just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier society.
Speaking on International Day of Peace celebration themed ‘Recovering Better for an Equitable and Sustainable World’ at the Britam Towers, Nairobi, the NCIC Chairman, Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, condemned the political intolerance witnessed across the country.
He asked the public to shun the intolerance currently ongoing in Kenya’s political scene, especially when the world heals from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has affected the vulnerable and underprivileged communities the hardest in various ways, including access to basic services such as education and health,” he said.
Kobia emphasized on the need for humanity to care for and support each other as well as make peace with one another, to facilitate recovery towards a more equitable and sustainable world.
He stated that the observance of the International Day for Peace provides a valuable opportunity for the public to assess its progress in the school of peace, and the resolve to do more.
“This day reminds us that in our current day and age of immense scientific progress and global development, peace is still a fragile precious dove, that still needs much more care and protection,” he added.
The Commission Chairman insisted that the conflicts can only be solved in a sustainable manner, if the root causes often relating to unfairness, injustice, poverty and inequality, disempowerment, disrespect, and a “me and mine” attitude rather than a “we and our” mindset are addressed.
He noted the unfortunate incidences of supporters from different factions of the political divide clashing in the past, is a sad day for democracy, which is a worrying trend heading into the upcoming General Election.
“The NCIC would like to remind Kenyans that all politicians have a right to spread ideas, to all parts of the country,” he said, maintaining that Kenyans should be free to move, live, and indeed campaign anywhere.
Further, he warned and shamed politicians who have decided to lock their regions and make them unapproachable for their competitors, insisting that criminal charges will be filed if any of them is found culpable to for such acts of intolerance.
“We must, therefore, condemn in the strongest terms these acts of intolerance and the use of abusive language on the national stage,” Kobia said, adding that the NCIC in conjunction with the Directorate of Criminal Investigation, are investigating these matters.
The Council Chairman urged everyone not to consider his sentiments as mere empty threats, since culprits are already being tracked and any leader involved, will be investigated and prosecuted.
He, however, commended the great crowds seen cordially receiving different leaders who are not from those regions and congratulated the politicians, who have embraced unity despite political competition.
The NCIC rolled out the ‘Roadmap to Elections Bila Noma’ containing strategic interventions that include, engaging political actors among others and will soon inaugurate a national symposia for national dialogues on all critical issues, that will promote a peaceful electoral process in the run-up to, during and after the 2022 General Elections.
By Michael Omondi