SECTIONS

Private sector alliance calls for peaceful polls and leaders of integrity

Daniel Juma of Mkenya Daima steering committee, Kepsa Chair Flora Mutahi, Mkenya Daima Coordinator Ivy Mumo and Vimal Shah, Mkenya Daima Chair at the launch of Mkenya Daima Initiative in Nairobi on March 10, 2022. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) has launched an initiative that seeks to ensure the country holds peaceful elections.

Kepsa chief executive Carole Kariuki said the Mkenya Daima 2022 will build on rallying call dabbed Nitatenda Wajibu Wangu. 

She said this will be an appeal to Kenyans to be responsible and to also educate them on the need to elect leaders with integrity

Vimal Shah, the chair Mkenya Daima, said there is need for Kenya to peaceful because elections will come and go.

‘‘We need to make Kenya more competitive, continue to create jobs and produce more for export and ramp up our production, agriculture and whole business sector and remove impediments,’’ he said.

The officials were addressing the media during the launch in Nairobi.

Ms Kariuki said the initiative will focus on three pillars of social, political and economic.

‘‘In 2012, we focused on peaceful elections and transitions, 2017 on leadership and now this year is a lot to do with good and accountable leadership in power, focus on positive gains and growth opportunities for the country,’’ she said.

Under the political pillar, Ms Kariuki said they will engage the leaders on both peaceful campaigns and transitions.

‘‘We will also engage Kenyans on who is a good leader as per Chapter Six of the Constitution, corruption and also look at the commitments made in the past and see what has been achieved on them,’’ she said.

On economic pillar, Kariuki said they will meet more presidential candidates, adding that they recently met with Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

‘’We have created a private sector economic manifesto which we will be using to engage all the candidates in the presidential race,’’ she said.

The social pillar will focus on public safety, where they will call for road safety and proper handling of accident incidents.

‘’It will also look at where we have failed as a country in issues of health, house and public transport to bring equality in the society,’’ she added.

To make the campaign a success, Kariuki said they will work with the media, civil society among other groups and stakeholders including Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission(IEBC) and development partners. 

Standard Media Group will be the official media sponsor of the Mkenya Daima initiative.

‘‘We want to be the media partner to carry the message of good leadership and peaceful elections. We shall position ourselves to be part and parcel of the election and focus on issues that affect Kenyans,’’ said Benedict Omollo, the Group’s Chief Officer - Operations and Strategy.

He said the company will use its various platforms to bring to life aspirations of Kenyans as it is in the Constitution and as per the manifestos of the candidates.

Bishop David Oginde, who represents Interfaith Council in the alliance said the alliance’s concern as polls approach is the failure by Kenyans to elect good leaders.

‘‘Some of our concerns are lack of peace and wrong narratives that Kenya is not a good place for investments during an election year,’’ said Oginde.

During the meeting, a leadership and peace pledge was also launched and signed. It has six commitments.

The alliance said it hopes to present it to every candidate and many Kenyans to sign. 

Daniel Juma, Executive Director of the Global Peace Foundation in Kenya, said there is need to diffuse political tensions. 

‘‘We also need to have confidence in our electoral bodies and avoid telling the world that the elections will not be free and fair,’’ he said.