The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has warned politicians hiring gangs to disrupt rivals’ rallies and cause violence.
NCIC Chairman Dr Samuel Kobia says those misusing innocent youth to cause violence and breach peace will face the full force of the law.
“As NCIC we are alert on cases of incitement and violence. We are not only going after politicians but young Kenyans, who will be used as goons to either disrupt activities of opponent politicians or cause violence,” Kobia added.
Addressing the media after meeting Coast regional Commissioner Ronald Mwiwawi and Deputy Mombasa county commissioner Ronald Mwiwawi, Kobia said his commission has agents around the country monitoring hatemongers and violence inciters during public rallies.
“We are equipped with gadgets that will capture voice as well as photos from political platforms we are well prepared,” he said.
He further indicated that they have launched a countrywide civic education and advocacy forum to foster peace and unity ahead of the elections.
The NCIC boss was in Mombasa as the Chief Guest during the Council of Bishops- Coast Region Peace Building forum attended by over 1,000 clergy from different denominations of Christianity.
During the event members of the Council of Bishop- Coast region, signed the Political Decency and Accountability Charter with NCIC to signify the roles of the clergies in fostering peace and unity during the electioneering period.
Kobia, who was flanked by Council of Bishop Chairman Bishop Joseph Maisha, stated that his commission acknowledges the central role religious leaders play in fostering peace and cohesion in the country
“Faith based communities are very key in the fight against election violence. Information can be spread from the clergy all the way to the members of the church because they come from different places and this information can reach the grassroots level,”said Kobia.
He added that the commission has launched the ‘Election Bila Noma’ program which will help Kenyans to have free and non-violent elections.
Bishop Maisha hailed NCIC for engaging religious leaders in peace building efforts ahead of the election saying the initiative is critical, especially in Mombasa, which he termed as very sensitive.
“I am worried if we don’t come together and get positive information because there are people who don’t have the information especially those in remote areas,” added Maisha.
Mombasa Deputy County Commissioner, Ronald Mwiwawi said the county security committee has put in place elaborate security measures to facilitate peaceful elections in Mombasa.
He said his team is working closely with key stakeholders including religious leaders to ensure the citizenry co-exist peacefully and carry on with their normal life activities without breach of peace and security.