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Honour Nkaissery by observing the peace he cherished so much

COMMENTARY
By Bethwel Kaino | July 10th 2017
The Late Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery. 

As we mourn the demise of Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, it is important for Kenyans to reflect on the contribution he made to the security sector and uphold his singular vision of a peaceful and united country.

Kenyans, irrespective of political parties, tribes and gender, should know that democracy can only thrive in an atmosphere free of threats or violence.

Since Nkaissery took over the security docket, he introduced measures that led to a drastic reduction in terrorism and cattle rustling in parts of the country.

Nkaissery was firm and persistent in his call on the youth to always be careful and not allow leaders to misuse them to achieve their selfish ends.

As a country we must distinguish between a genuine and legitimate desire for change from its exploitation by short-sighted and cynical leaders who use acts of lawlessness for their own selfish ends.

United people

Kenyans should come to terms with the fact that a peaceful and prosperous nation needs to be nurtured and protected by a united people. As Kenyans, we must learn from the 2008 post-election violence (PEV) in which lives were lost, property destroyed and thousands displaced.

Peace is paramount for the social-economic development and growth of any economy, and as we move towards the August elections, all of us must engage in activities that promote peaceful co-existence to achieve the country’s millennium development goals.

Leaders, irrespective of their ethnic and political affiliations, should preach peace in all parts of the country to foster cohesion.

They should emulate Nkaissery in the search for lasting peace by desisting from issuing inflammatory statements during this electioneering period.

The greatest challenge facing Kenyan leaders is overcoming tribal loyalties to harness ethnic diversity to create a stable nation with dynamic Government institutions. It is unfortunate that while Kenyans are known abroad as friendly and hospitable people, the same is not reflected at home.

Kenya was known as the model for stability in Africa, but the image was tarnished by the PEV that claimed more than 1,000 lives and displaced more than 350,000 people.

Normalcy has, however, been returned through peaceful co-existence among all communities, especially those in the Rift Valley region who fight during and after every General Election.

Tourism is one of the sectors that suffered most following the 2008 chaos despite its enormous contribution to the country’s economy.

Concerted efforts

But thanks to concerted efforts in the search for peace, the sector has picked up in the last four years and we hope peace will continue to prevail to enable the sector to further contribute to the growth and development of the country even after the August elections.

All Kenyans should therefore heed Nkaissery’s calls to embrace activities that promote peace and reconciliation during this electioneering period.

This is not only aimed at bringing about national cohesion and boosting co-existence among different groups but also explores ways of initiating income-generating activities for the people without any fear.

Peace is paramount to any development and all Kenyans should spread that message while discarding the culture of tribalism, nepotism and racism.

On the other hand, leaders must commit themselves to conceding defeat if they lose fairly to their competitors come August 8 because in every competition there must be winners and losers.

Future generations

As a country, Kenya is blessed with resources that can sustain current and future generations, and it is possible to attain all-round development if we have a politically stable country.

But for this to happen, we need to seriously preach peace, love and unity among all Kenyans irrespective of tribe and political backgrounds. As a country, we should therefore desist from activities that could lead to violence.

Mr Kaino works for the Deputy President’s Press Office

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