The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has lauded the residents of Uasin Gishu County for embracing peace before, during and after elections.
The commendation by the NCIC comes on the background that that Uasin Gishu county and particularly its North rift headquarters, Eldoret town was among those enlisted among others as the hotspot of violence, owing to its history of violence after the 2007 general elections.
Speaking during the International Peace Day 2022 celebrations at Home Craft Centre in Eldoret, NCIC Commissioner Sam Kona praised the people of Uasin Gishu and Kenya at large for showing a good example to the whole world by maintaining peace after a contested presidential election.
“It is a very important day for us as a country especially when the world had perceived Kenya through the prism of post-election violence as they remind us about the 2007/2008 case, but the resilience of the people of Kenya and their leaders demonstrated in the completed election that we can have a competitive electoral process, disagree politically, contest the results but still remain peaceful through seeking legal redress and by obeying the rule of law,” said Kona.
He added that the commission had decided to hold this year’s International Peace Day celebrations in Eldoret because it had proved itself beyond expectations for maintaining peace, even after the August general elections despite the previous allegations that it would likely experience conflict owing to its previous history and the cosmopolitan nature.
“Kenya is peaceful now, things are as normal as before, this county is also one of the counties that contributed to that peace in a special way. That is why we decided to have this event here to embrace the positive energy that has been portrayed here and the other parts of the country and recite the message that Kenya will never again go the way of violence, we shall continue to maintain our peace forever,” he said.
Kona acknowledged the support citizens demonstrated by taking heed of the public messages the commission disseminated through various trainings and peace meetings with the theme ‘Election Bila Noma,’ which helped promote peace and unity in the country during the electioneering period.
He further lauded the media for their cooperation with the commission for promoting peace and unity through ethical and timely reporting of the poll results through various channels like Television, radio, print and others.
Kona pointed out that the current peace that is experienced in Kenya was realized through the concerted efforts of Kenyans and their political leaders who respected the integrity of the electoral body IEBC and the Supreme Court ruling after the August 9th general elections.
“I would like to pay tribute and respect to the president of the republic of Kenya Dr. William Ruto because when the results were contested, he accepted that they proceed to the supreme court as the law dictates, I also commend the former prime minister Raila Odinga for seeking justice at the court after disagreeing with the presidential poll results. I also want to commend the former president Uhuru Kenyatta for ensuring a smooth transition of power to the new administration by fulfilling his constitutional duty through peaceful handing over of power instruments,” said Kona.
On his part, Uasin Gishu county commissioner Dr. Eddyson Nyale lauded the NCIC for its role of advocating for peace in the country as he assured of his administration’s commitment to work hand in hand with the commission in collaboration with the County Government of Uasin Gishu to ensure everlasting peace in the county and the neighbouring areas.
“It is a great day for us to celebrate the haven of peace in our county, I will work with Governor Jonathan Chelilim to ensure citizen’s aspirations are fulfilled to see that peace prevails and to promote sustainable development,” said Dr. Nyale.
The County Commissioner called upon the citizens to cooperate with the leaders in various sectors to see that the county moves forward in terms of development.
Addressing the media during the International Peace Day flag off ceremony at his office in the county headquarters, Uasin Gishu governor Jonathan Chelilim lauded the successful efforts by the peace building committee and other peace actors which had helped the county maintain peace for the last 10 years.
Additionally, he insisted that the county had always been peaceful through peaceful coexistence with various communities from across Kenya.
Chelilim further assured residents that Uasin Gishu will forever remain peaceful to become an example and peace ambassador to the other neighbouring counties in the north rift region, which still face serious conflicts resulting from the fight over resources.
“We have accepted that we will live together in peace, love and unity with every other community. We have our neighbouring counties, we feel for them like Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, West Pokot and Turkana, we urge them to embrace peace and build cohesion in those regions,” said Chelilim
He urged the residents to embrace peace despite their political differences after the completed elections, adding that he will serve the people fairly and equally irrespective of their political affiliations, through inclusive administration to ensure every community is fairly represented as a way to promote unity and peaceful coexistence in the county.
By Ekuwam Sylvester and Anastacious Chepkemoi