The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) in collaboration with National Authority for Campaign against Drugs (NACADA) launched a one-week peace campaign programme ahead of the General Election.
The programme will be conducted through roadshows and is meant to sensitize the residents of Homa Bay on peaceful coexistence during the electioneering period.
NCIC Commissioner Eng Philip Okundi said the aim of the campaign was to ensure the residents of Homa Bay County understood the importance of peace.
Speaking after launching the exercise at the county headquarters, the commissioner said that Homa Bay is among the 23 hotspot counties earmarked by the Commission, adding that the peace agenda would help in creating awareness amongst the residents on the importance of fostering peace.
“We will be having a one week peace campaign exercise through roadshows and stakeholder engagements within the region. NCIC has earmarked 23 counties in the country which are hotspot areas where violence can be ignited by small issues and our county is among the vulnerable areas,” said the commissioner.
Okundi said that alcohol and other hard drugs were among the factors that engineered violence and the main reason for collaborating with NACADA was to create awareness among the youths to shun illegal drugs.
Homa Bay County Commissioner Moses Lilan, who flagged off the campaign, said that in partnership with different stakeholders, the security agency has taken the necessary steps to ensure peace is achieved.
“Within this peace campaign period, we will be engaging various stakeholders like the Beach Management Unit (BMU), bodaboda, Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization, State and Non-State actors among others in our attempt to ensure the peace agenda yield results,” said Lilan.
He added, “The coming in of NCIC is a major boost to us because they are coming in within the multi-agency setup to give a message of peace to build the capacities of various stakeholders so that when we go for election, every citizen is well aware and well informed to maintain peace”.
The administrator also appealed to the politicians within the region to embrace peace together with their followers and avoid utterances that may trigger violence.
Okundi cautioned politicians against hate speech either electronically or reported by witnesses saying that they would be summoned by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and other experts where strict action would be taken against them.
By Arnold Ouma and Sitna Omar