State and non-state agencies playing different roles in the forthcoming general elections have launched a peace caravan to preach peace and coexistence ahead of the polls.
The initiative spearheaded by the Office of the Registrar of Political parties in collaboration with the political parties’ liaison committee and Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) targets six regions across the country which have been mapped as violence hotspots.
Deputy Director of Political Parties Florence Biria said the exercise targets to sensitize political parties, members of the public and other stakeholders on the need to embrace peace during and after the elections.
Speaking during the launch of the caravan in Kisumu, which has been flagged as one of the hotspots, Biria said all the 89 fully registered political parties were on board and will in turn sensitize their members and supporters to tolerate one another to ensure that the elections are conducted peacefully.
“We are engaging them to emphasize on the political parties’ regulations and the need to embrace peace to guarantee peaceful, free and fair elections,” she said.
The peace caravans, she said will traverse the six regions with a clarion call ‘uchaguzi sio uadui’ to ensure that peace prevails during and after the August polls.
Political Parties Liaison Committee Chairman Evans Misati said all political parties were behind the initiative and will prevail upon their members, candidates and supporters to embrace peace.
“If all these political parties can put their differences aside and focus on peace nobody has the right to do the contrary,” he said.
The various political party leaders, he said will move in the same caravan and engage members of the public and supporters on the need to embrace peace and tolerance.
For the Western region, the caravan will move from Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Kisii, and Nyamira to Migori over the weekend.
Speaking during the same occasion, Kisumu County Commissioner Josephine Ouko said all hot spots in the area have been mapped.
Security officers, she added were on high alert to ensure that the prevailing peace in the area is maintained.
A multi-agency committee, she added has been establish to foster peaceful coexistence between the various political outfits in the area.
The committee, she said, was engaging members of the public in the identified hotspots to ensure that peace is maintained.
She cautioned politicians out to distabilise peace in the area saying they will face the full force of the law.
“We have employed every possible avenue to ensure peaceful elections but we are also ready for any eventuality,” she said.
Kisumu County Elections Manager Solomon Mudanya said all the cases reported in the area have been dealt with.
“We have received some complaints and summoned the candidates to ensure that they don’t breach the law,” he said.
By Queen Edel and Chris Mahandara