Violence Could Derail Peaceful Elections NGO Council Warn

Igembe North in Meru county where rival Azimio and Kenya Kwanza groups clashed disrupting a rally that was addressed by William Ruto

There is nothing to gain from violence except destruction and losses” saying what happened in Meru last week is exactly what the civil society has been warning about since last year-NGO Council of Kenya

By James Wafula

The NGO Council of Kenya has condemned the recent attacks aimed at a Kenya Kwanza political campaign rally at which young people were seen throwing stones an incident that led to the disruption of the meeting for several hours, a council official said this was most unfortunate.

Speaking during a public peace walk in Nairobi that brought together several women groups and key stakeholders under the NGO Council of Kenya umbrella, council chairman and official spokesman Mr Stephen Kipchumba Cheboi renewed calls to all politicians to avoid violence and embrace peaceful campaigns.

“There is nothing to gain from violence except destruction and losses” saying what happened in Meru last week is exactly what the civil society has been warning about since last year. “We have been vocal and steadfast in calling for peaceful campaigns and we shall not tire saying Kenya must continue even after August 9th regardless of the outcome of the election,” said Cheboi.

He said the various political parties, party coalitions and those vying as independent candidates to campaign peacefully ahead of the General Elections. “The NGO Council is calling on all leaders in each of the parties and political coalitions in the country participating in the August General Elections to rally their members and supporters to preach Peace during the campaign”, he said.

He said the NGO Council condemned in the strongest terms possible cases of political violence and urged police to arrest and charge culprits. “Police should stop spectating violence only coming in after people have been hurt and meetings disrupted,” he said, “Some of the recent ugly incidents showing competing political parties shouting down one another at public rallies are uncalled for and only set the stage for political chaos.”

He said the National Council of NGOs, and civil society will not tire of spreading the peace gospel by working with other stakeholders including the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of the National Government to ensure free, fair, credible and verifiable elections.

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