The National Council of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) of Kenya has urged for decorum and political tolerance among key political leaders and their supporters as the country approaches the General Elections.
The Council has maintained that political leaders as well as aspirants of various political offices should prioritize peaceful engagement as they articulate issues affecting the citizens in their quest to sell their policies.
Speaking in Nyayo House Nairobi, the Council Chairman Stephen Cheboi condemned in the strongest terms possible politicians who preach hatred among Kenyans for selfish gains.
He cautioned all leaders to be responsible in their utterances which may be interpreted with prejudice thereby inciting violence.
“We urge leaders to desist from making inflammatory remarks in public meetings and gatherings and rather embrace one another through love at all times for the peace of the nation,” he said.
The Chairman encouraged all citizens to reject leaders who propagate hatred in the society while at the same time commending the former for welcoming all aspirants to sell their policies in every part of the nation.
“The Council urges all wananchi to pay keen attention and interrogate the manifestos brought forward by all aspirants seeking political offices,” he reiterated adding that all politicians should maintain harmony and keep preaching peace among Kenyans.
According to Cheboi, the Council and other peace stakeholders have vowed to champion for peace at the grassroots level through a proactive initiative dubbed ‘Encouraging Mwananchi Peace Initiative’.
The initiative places the Council on the forefront in promoting peace after the launch of the commitment to peace banner signed by various stakeholders.
The members of the Council took turns to encourage more teachings on national values and principles while promising to mobilize ambassadors of peace at the ward levels in all the 47 counties.
“We discourage the youth from being influenced by the careless actions of some politicians and urge security agencies to keep tabs on all aspirants at every rally to mitigate the preaching of ethnic profiling and incitement to violence,” the Chairman stressed.
The Council appealed to the youth to take up the mantle and be the architects and engineers to weave a desired Kenya by embracing diversity and electing leaders of integrity.
“The leaders should be the conscience of the nation and therefore, the need to move the country a notch higher not only in terms of economic development but also through peaceful co-existence,” the Council noted.
Further, Council members urged the media fraternity not to compromise whatsoever on the ethics of reporting during this electioneering period and encouraged them to sensitize citizens on the importance and benefits of peace.
Additionally, they urged the Senate to debate the Political Parties Amendment Bill, recently passed by the National assembly, with a lot of sobriety and decorum while acting in the best interest of the country.
By Michael Omondi