Measures in place for peaceful 2022 elections, says Matiang’i
Zadock Angira and Irene Githinji
The government has put in place measures to ensure a credible and peaceful election in 2022, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said yesterday.
Speaking during the launch of the roadmap of peaceful elections by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) at the Kenya School of Government yesterday, Matiang’i challenged the commission and other independent institutions to act firmly on leaders making inflammatory remarks.
“We still have negative class-based mobilisation. When you mobilise people on the us versus them, you are actually preparing for chaos,” Matiang’i said.
Citing the recent seamless elections in Ghana, the CS said it is a wonder why Kenya, after six decades, is still deeply entrenched in citizens insulting and attacking each other during every election cycle.
“We must have peaceful elections; we have no other choice. Surely, Kenya has come a long way.
We could not have made all these investments we are making only to begin ruining our country,” he added.
The CS added: “I am really wishing for when people will be disqualified from vying for a public office on integrity issues. Chapter Six of the Constitution is actually theoretical in this country,” he said.
Speaking during the same function, Interior PS Dr Karanja Kibicho said the country had experienced relative tranquility in the last one year.
As a result, the ministry had saved millions of shillings that was initially used in quelling protests and resultant security challenges.
Elsewhere, religious leaders yesterday said they will work with NCIC to enhance peace in the country and safeguard the sanctity of places of worship.
The Inter-Religious Council of Kenya chairman Rev Fr Joseph Mutie said the country is experiencing heightened political activities as the 2022 General Election draws closer.
He also said the Building Bridges Initiative report, which could culminate into a referendum, has put the nation at crossroads between fighting Covid-19 pandemic and enhancing cohesion.
“The Covid-19 period has witnessed an increase in incidences of divisive politics characterised by hate speech among the political class.
It is unfortunate that some religious sanctuaries and pulpits have been use to propagate such messages,” said Fr Mutie.
He made the remarks after a meeting with NCIC chair Dr Samuel Kobia, yesterday at a Nairobi hotel.
He said that religious leaders will seek to enhance peace by avoiding divisive politics in sermons and partisan endorsements from the pulpit.
They also agreed to ensure functions involving politicians are separated from worship functions.
“There is need to not only safeguard the sanctity of places of worship, but reaffirm their traditional roles of being places of refuge, safety and for sharing messages of hope and tolerance especially during this trying time,” added Mutie.