A national peace torch run has been launched ahead of the General Elections slated for August 9.
The Amani Torch Run is the initiative of Special Olympics Kenya, National Police Service and National Cohesion and Integration and Commission (NCIC) and Mkenya Daima that seeks to preach peace across the 47 counties.
Special Olympics Kenya chairman Thuo Chege said they expect to launch it in all 47 counties once they get funding. With slogan Uchaguzi Bila Noma (Elections Without Violence), it will involve a police and special athletes running in all 47 counties.
"What we are rolling out in Nairobi we would like to roll out in all the 47 counties including working together with hotspot counties and finally converge at Nairobi before elections around mid-July, where we hope the four presidential aspirants will sign the peace charter," said Chege during the launch at Kasarani Stadium yesterday.
In Nairobi County, he said the peace torch will go to Starehe Police Station boss, who will then handover to his counterpart in the other four or five sub-counties. The Special Olympics Kenya board member Manoj Shah said they have been working on this dream initiative for the past six months.
"This is a significant milestone as far as Special Olympics Kenya is concerned and it only signifies our contribution together with many other people, who are particularly at this time taking initiatives to promote peace in our country ahead of the coming elections," he said.
Mkenya Daima Chairman Vimal Shah said their goal is one; to have good and accountable leadership in Kenya and for a prosperous nation thereafter. He said with their slogan Nitatenda Wajibu Wangu (I will play my role) with those roles being to keep peace, check the leaders Kenyans plan to vote, whether they are right ones or not and finally vote.
"The most important action is not only talking about peace but also taking action to maintain that peace," Shah said.
United Nations Residents Coordinator Stephen Jackson said Kenya is famous across the world in two things namely athletics and peace and therefore using running for peace is a commendable initiative. He promised to mobilise his fellow diplomatic community to avail financial support to ensure the peace torch run reaches all the 47 counties.
National Youth Council Chief Executive Officer Roy Sasaka said as young people, they believe they have a key stake in championing peace for both their current and future. He said they have teams championing peace across the country who have been holding meetings in Garissa, Meru and Nyahururu, adding that for this peace to be sustainable, the only people who will pass this mantle is the young people.
NCIC chair Samuel Kobia said the launch of the peace torch run is symbolic of lighting a flame of peace in every hearts and minds of every Kenyan.