With the country moving towards transitional General Election under the new Constitution, resolutions reached by MPs at the forum on peaceful poll should not be swept under the carpet as have happened in previous ‘talking shows’.
MPs, being elected representatives of Kenyans, should be committed to all the resolutions reached at the two-day forum, which are tailored to ensure the country has a peaceful election and power transfer.
It would be tragic for millions of taxpayers’ money to be spent on such a forum, only for its deliberations to go to waste instead of being turned into strengths to cushion the country against unnecessary threats to instability.
Indeed, while opening the forum on Friday, President Kibaki promised that as we approach the polls, the Government would provide security and promote peace building and conflict prevention initiatives throughout the country.
This initiative coming from the country’s chief executive should be hailed as a step in the right direction, given what befell the country following the bungled 2007 presidential election.
Kibaki reminded the country that in the light of past experience that has seen the eruption of violence during elections, there must be practical commitments on how to break this cycle and ensure peace prevails.
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has even suggested presidential aspirants should hold joint political rallies at least once every month to preach peace and signal that political competition can be healthy.
It is important Dr Mutunga’s counsel to the aspirants is taken in good faith, given most of the on-going campaigns have been characterised by name-calling and speeches that could spark ethnic tension.
It was not lost to many that even as the forum went on, some of the key presidential aspirants were on the campaign trail. This does not show their commitment to a peaceful election, only months away.
As pointed out by some in attendance, the forum was about them more than anybody else, and their absence cast doubt on their patriotism and commitment to the public good.
Politicians being the ‘cunning animals they are’, it is important that the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) acts tough on those who violate the Mombasa Accord.
NCIC’s job was well cut-out when Prime Minister Raila Odinga told the Mzalendo Kibunjia-led Commission it should not try to micro-manage politicians.