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NCIC embarks on peace advocacy ahead of polls

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has embarked on a countrywide civic education and advocacy forum to foster peace and unity ahead of next year’s General Elections.

A team from the commission met with local youth, boda boda, PSV operators’ association members, Nyumba kumi representatives and peace actors in Nyeri town Thursday, as a way of sensitizing them on the importance of maintaining peace ahead of the 2021 polls.

While briefing the press on the sidelines of the meeting, the NCIC Head of Legal Affairs Department, Kyalo Mwengi said they have developed a roadmap dubbed, Election Bila Noma, through which they plan to bring every Kenyan on board.

“We are targeting the political aspirants, political parties and institutions as well as the members of the public to help us ensure we maintain peace before, during and after next year General Elections,” Mwengi said.

The NCIC will also require the targeted groups to sign a Peace Charter on Political Decency which they will have to adhere to throughout the campaign period.

According to Mwengi, the charter contains a set of ethical codes, which will regulate the conduct of the different participants of the civic process.

“The political aspirants and institutions will have to sign a charter with us that they will conduct their campaigns in a peaceful manner. The members of the public will help us in holding politicians accountable in case they go against the signed charter,” he explained.

Mwengi has also warned politicians against making inciteful utterances especially in a multi-ethnic group which he said stir up tribal wrangles.  He further warned that legal action will be taken against those found culpable.

Mwengi noted that so far, the commission has prosecuted three hate speech cases and over 30 cases were active in different courts. He also said that more than 100 cases of hate speech offences are under investigation.

Speaking during the same occasion, the Nyeri County Deputy Commissioner Joseph Mwangi urged those present to be peace ambassadors during the election period.

He also warned them against being lured to disrupt peace saying they will be held accountable for their actions.

NCIC was formed after the 2007 disputed General Elections to address ethnic conflicts after polls.

This followed the chaotic 2007 elections in which 1,000 people lost their lives, while 500,000 others were displaced from their lands.

By Samuel Maina and Ann Ngure

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