Religious leaders in Busia County have urged the National and County governments to include them in leadership to help solve the challenge of integrity and bad governance.
Speaking at Farm View Hotel in a security stakeholder meeting on election preparedness, they challenged politicians to consider societal moral values that shape community.
Led by Joseph Mwangi, the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), Busia Chairman, the leaders asked for deliberate and active engagements for all stakeholders to foster peace and harmonious co-existence, especially as we approach the General Elections.
“As religious leaders, we are committed to enlightening our congregants on the need to exercising their democratic rights of choosing the right leaders to represent them at various levels in a peaceful environment,” said Mwangi, adding that they should also be incorporated in decision making at the County and National levels to enhance a seamless society.
The sentiments were echoed by Mohammed Ramadhan, a Muslim cleric in Busia, who advised youth to shun violence, especially in the electioneering period.
“No leader should pride himself or herself in division and hatred. We call upon all Busia residents to respect the rights of others and appreciate the fact that politics is about competition, in which case there will be winners and losers,” said Ramadhan.
Elsewhere, a multi-sectorial conference on prevention and countering violent extremism, was held at Busia County Commissioner’s conference hall.
The conference organized by Busia County Commissioner’s office in collaboration with Champions of Peace organization, brought together stakeholders from National and County government, security organs, civil society, Ministry of Education, Business community, youth groups and the media, and sought to discuss activities and work plans towards eradicating violent extremism.
The same sentiment was echoed by Busia Assistant County Commissioner (1) Julius Marwa stressed on the need for collaboration of different stakeholders, to ensure harmony, peace, and integration in society.
“This initiative has been cascaded down from the National government to the grassroots level to ensure every citizen is enlightened about his or her role in preventing violent extremism,” said Marwa.
David Okoth, a representative of Champions of peace organization expressed his concern over rising cases of violence especially during the electioneering period.
He affirmed his organization’s commitment to traverse the entire republic of Kenya to engage with various stakeholders at the grassroots to limit cases of violence extremism.
“We are currently engaging the ten counties of Western and Nyanza Province to ensure that all stakeholders are brought on board to formulate policies and work plans towards prevention and eradication of acts of violence,” said Okoth.
The conference set out a roadmap of action for the next six months in seven key pillars of Education, Ideology, Politics, Economy, Gender, Media and Security to foster peace and cohesion, followed by periodic meetings and evaluation to measure progress of the initiative.