Kalenjin elders, clerics call for peace ahead of August polls

The elders and the clergy called on political leaders to ensure that they co-exist during the campaign period.

The Kalenjin Council of elders and religious leaders in the Rift Valley have cautioned politicians in the region against incitement and hate speech ahead of the August 8 elections.

The elders and the clerics blamed incitement by politicians for the previous post-election violence in the area.

During an Intra –Ethnic Forum held in Eldoret last week, the elders resolved to work with political leaders to ensure peaceful campaigns in the region, Kalenjin Council of Elders Chairperson James Lukwo said.

“As the General Election approaches, there is increased polarization between ethnic groups and political camps which is intensifying tension and conflicts,” Mr Lukwo said.

“We don’t want a repeat of  skirmishes which happened in 2007-2008. Our region was hard hit by the post-election violence”, he said.

According to Mr Lukwo the elders and religious leaders have identified factors that have potential to cause violence between and within communities during the electoral process.

He said the elders and clergy resolved to tackle any form of election malpractices which might plunge the country into chaos as well as put in place mitigation measures by conducting civic education to community members so as to promote peace.

The National Council of Churches of Kenya North Rift Chairperson Musa Maina said the council will undertake an advocacy campaign for peace in the area.

“We shall be holding regular meetings with politicians to implore them to embrace peace during campaigns and after elections,” he said.

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