DP William Ruto office roots for handshake day

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga hugs as DP William Ruto (right) and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka (left) look on during the National Prayer Breakfast at the Safari Park hotel on May 31, 2018. [File, Standard]
Deputy President William Ruto's office is pushing for a national handshake day to encourage reconciliation and healing among Kenyans over historical injustices.

The day they proposed should be used to encourage warring factions to forgive one another for the sake of the country unity and prosperity

In multi stakeholders meeting organized by the Office of the Deputy President Conflict Management and Peace Building Unit (CMPB), participants called for expansion of the existing political handshake to reach out Kenyans of all walks

Speaking during the meeting CMPB Secretary Beverly Koech said the handshake day should be adopted across country right from individual counties, market places and schools.

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“We will announce that anyone with a grudge with another person should come out and state the grievances, the clergies will then guide on how to let off go, “said Mrs Koech.

Mrs Koech said it was the high time Kenyans take advantage of the existing handshake by different political antagonist to forgive each other and heal existing wounds.

Speaking during the meeting Retired Catholic Bishop Alfred Rotich, said the Church will move with speed to ensure existing political unity is replicated among Kenyans who have been fighting each other.

“We have had lot of handshakes which have cooled down temperatures and allowed us to have peace around the country, we as the church will not rest but will take advantage of this to unite Kenyans, “he said

Participant drawn from different Government ministries, County Government, Religious and Non-Governmental Organization will kick off joint peace initiatives across different counties.

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The initiative will identify conflict areas where warring groups will be assisted to initiate income generating projects by different Government Ministries and well-wishers.

The warring factions will be required to abstain from all illegal and violent activities and engage in development activities.

Mrs Koech said five counties which include Migori,Kwale,Kilifi,Bungoma and Baringo have been selected.

“The Government through the different ministries will offer all the necessary support through skills and financing of income generating project to deter criminal activities” she added

The Secretary urged well-wishers to chip in any available assistance that can transform lives of affected youths.

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Mrs Koech said CMPD has adopted a concept dubbed ‘Transfer of Knowledge from Evidence and Lesson from Latin America (ELLA)’ for the Prevention of Community Based Crime and Violence in Kenya.

Last year the Office of the Deputy President through Conflict management and Peace Building Unit preached peace in Kilifi and Bungoma counties so as to avoid chaos during this 2017 elections.

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