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Elders call for peace and tolerance as polls approach

The Mombasa County Council of Elders has vowed to help in promotion of peace by advising members of the public and politicians on the importance of peace and tolerance ahead of the 2022 General Elections.

The executive members of the Mombasa County Council of Elders asked the government to empower them so that they can be able to preach on peace and unity and also resolve disputes that can lead to clashes.

During a meeting with the security personnel in Mombasa which was headed by the County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo, the elders agreed that they will work hand in hand with the government when called for their intervention in ensuring Mombasa is peaceful.

“The government needs a lot of support, especially from the elders. Do not underestimate your power as there is a lot you are doing only that it is not documented. As a Council of Elders, together you can craft something and make it useful,” said Kitiyo.

Vice Chairman of the council Bishop Joseph Maisha, said that the Mombasa Council of Elders was started in 2013 during the election period and it has been serving Mombasa residents in promotion of peace and unity.

“This is a platform in which senior citizens air their issues affecting the members of the public. Issues concerning peace, cultural heritage, education, youth and sports among others are well represented at the grassroots level,” said Maisha.

The council in partnership with the Mombasa security personnel and REINVENT, a programme anchored under the Ministry of Interior to promote peace and security in 18 counties of Mombasa, launched a platform where the trio will work together to promote peace during the election period.

The County Commissioner tasked the elders in spreading the word of peace among youths and politicians.

They have been urged to discourage the formation of juvenile gangs and youth from being misused by selfish politicians.

“During this time of politics the gangs get recruited by some politicians and use them as their security system. They even beat and intimidate opponents,” noted Kitiyo.

He urged the elderly who are most respected and looked upon in the society to collaborate with the security department and even talk to the people in the community on the dangers of getting involved with violence.

“If anything arises at the grassroots, let’s counter it. Be our ambassadors of peace to the people,” he added.

The elders promised to start working immediately especially on the slum areas where insecurity cases are on the rise.

They advocated for the involvement of an informal security system that actively interacts with the people on the ground.

To make their engagement in administering peace fruitful, Kitiyo promised to seek for support from well-wishers and build capacity of the elderly in terms of conflict resolution measures, identify various skills among the elders and impact them so that they can dispense those skills to the youth.

By Chari Suche


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