The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) on Thursday 10th December 2020 launched a roadmap towards violence-free polls in 2022.
The roadmap dubbed #ElectionsBilaNoma (Elections without Problems) outlines outlines practical strategies, actions and time-bound targets that will be pursued in collaboration with other peace actors through reciprocal steps to ensure a peaceful environment during the electioneering period.
Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr Fred Matiang’i who was the Chief Guest at the launched held at the Kenya School of Government affirmed the goverment’s commitment to ensure that the 2022 elections is conducted in a peaceful climate.
“Surely, Kenya has come a long way. We cannot have made all of these investments we are making only to begin ruining our own country just because of our unbridled ambitions and just because some of us believe that they must be the ones to lead. It is the people of Kenya who will decide who will be their leaders, and all of us must be humble enough to live with that particular reality and move forward. We must have peaceful elections come 2022,” he said.
The CS further directed the Secretary for National Administration and the Secretary for Internal Security to jointly mobilize government administrators across the country also known as NGAO to facilitate the Commission crisscross the country with a view to delivering on its mandate of ensuring cohesion and integration.
The CS gave the example of Ghana which recently held its elections without much fuss and challenged Kenyans to look around what was going on in the region to be able to appreciate the peace and tranquility Kenya is blessed with. He challenged NCIC and other government institutions to strictly advance the implementation of Chapter Six of the Constitution.
“Walk the talk; do your job. I am waiting for a day when people will be disqualified from contesting public offices on account of their behaviour.”
The CS also called out Kenyans to stand against the emerging “digital vigilante groups” that are now spewing hate and intolerance using social media. “There are vigilante groups on social media worshipping and working for politicians who are known, paid for, and supported by groups of politicians whose responsibility is basically divisive politics, ethnic balkanization, constant insults and abuse. We must stand up against this.”
The NCIC Chair, Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, said the Roadmap marks a new dawn for the Commission and the people of Kenya. “As a Commission, we will ensure that Kenya and Kenyans are peaceful and the old days where the Commission might have been silent when politics of hate, division, ‘us versus them’ was loud is over.”
The Chairman used the occasion to unveil the Commission’s new CEO and Secretary Dr. Skitter Mbugua who replaces Mr. Hassan Mohammed whose term came to an end in 2019.
Speaking in Swahili, Dr. Mbugua who joins the commission from the Kisii County government where she was the CEC for Energy, Water and Environment & Natural Resources, noted that Kenyans are tired of conflicts that escalate into violence and called on political leaders to take responsibility when engaging the citizens and focus more on issue-based politic over ethnic politics.
“To our political leaders and by extension all opinion shapers, we urge you to exercise responsible leadership. We call on Kenyans to especially those who perpetrate hate speech to desist from dividing Kenyans along ethnic, religious or even race” said Dr. Mbugua.