Bomas Peace Conference an idea whose time has come

Yesterday the seat of Government befittingly moved to Bomas of Kenya. Befitting because that is where all the dialogue that culminated in the new Constitution started.

The theme with the overriding message being a peaceful, orderly transition to the 11th Parliament and the Fourth President was particularly apt.  And like this newspaper headlined it “After the Promise”, it is time the central government put its money where its mouth is and deliver the various pledges it has made since 2002. The two-day National Peace Conference, supposed to cultivate peace ahead of next year’s elections is as good a place to start as any.

Leading from the front, the President was emphatic about leaving a fruitful legacy intact and cautioned all criminal elements hell-bent on snatching the Kenyan Dream from its rightful heirs.

Words of encouragement from former Vice President Moody Awori, reasonated with the renewed pledge by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa that the rule of law shall guide the future footprints of this country away from the sorry state it had sunk into a few years ago.

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Invited speakers who were part of the Serena negotiations in 2008 and others who helped midwife the constitutional review process draft for draft helped to put into perspective the path Kenya has travelled and informed the journey ahead.

In this, the frontline presence of the youth who provided the entertainment and the clerics who sprinkled the proceedings with a word of prayer underlined their key role in moulding the building blocks needed to reconstruct a new Kenya.

Sore thumb

And as we run a Lest We Forget series in the Features section of this edition, the sore thumb that is the unsettled Internally Displaced Persons around the country, the pending Truth Justice and Reconciliation report, the sustained efforts of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission and Ministry of Information and Communication to rein-in hate speech are matters that need facing.

With hindsight, all self-declared presidential candidates and aspirants for the various upcoming by-elections should have been compelled to sit at the front row and listen in on the proceedings of this landmark Peace Conference.

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Bomas of Kenya new Constitution National Peace Conference