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NCIC blames politicians for Kenya’s ethnicity problem

National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has hit out at politicians for fanning ethnicity among Kenyans.
Commission Chairman, Francis Ole Kaparo added that politicians fan the flames of ethnicity, tribalism and clannism for political gains.
Kaparo also blamed ethnic divisions as the biggest impediment to building a singular Kenyan national identity.
He said the pervasive ethnicity problem has been devolved to the Counties, since the inception of devolution in 2013, threatening to destroy the very fabric of the society.
Kaparo, a former House Speaker said politicians resort to ethnically divisive tactics, during electioneering period to win elections.
He said although ethnicity is far from being a uniquely Kenyan phenomenon, it presents a serious challenge to the country’s stability, especially during elections.
The chairman was speaking during an NCIC retreat with members of the Parliamentary Committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity, held at English Point Marina in Mombasa.
“As long as our politics is ethnic based, it would be difficult to enhance national cohesion and integration’ he said.
Kaparo also blamed politicians for denying his commission adequate financial and human resources to execute its mandate.
“Currently we operate on an annual budget of Sh.400 million which is a drop in the ocean,” he said adding that the commission has 60 personnel including seven investigators.
“This therefore means we lack the capacity to properly function as required,” he lamented.
Kaparo also asked the media to ignore politicians spewing hate speech and profanity. “The media should be agents of social and economic progress and not agents of doom,” he said.
He welcomed the significant handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, saying it would lead to meaningful change in the country.
He said it was always the wish of the NCIC to see leaders engage in national dialogue, since they have a crucial role to play in unifying the country and fostering peace.
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Kaparo asked security apparatus to firmly deal with politicians and ethnic demagogues using hate speech and incitement to violence.
The NCIC chair said the commission is auditing the 47 counties to ensure resources and jobs are equitably distributed among the diverse communities living in those areas.
The parliamentary committee chairperson Maina Kamanda warned politicians out to scuttle Uhuru-Raila historic handshake.
“The handshake calmed a political storm, following the 2017 general elections and Kenyans should not allow the unity pact to be scuttled by selfish politicians’ he said.
He said the ‘golden handshake’ will help President Uhuru Kenyatta achieve the Big Four Plan of food security, affordable housing, universal health care and the manufacturing sector, as well as security.
By Hussein Abdullahi

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