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Seeking Lasting Solution To Kenya’s Repeated Election-Related Violence

Over the years, political periods have dictated violence in the county thus leading to increased fear of unknown every term the country heads into bye or general elections.

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Moses Rabachi
Moses Rabachi
Professional Journalist from Kenya with expertise in print media, online media, and photojournalism. With extensive knowledge in Customer relations

KENYA. Nakuru: The 1963 independence, Kenya’s political history was marked by violent uprising and repression.

Following the Kenya African National Union (KANU) victory in the 1963 elections, Kenya became a de-facto (one-party state), with its leader and President of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, for example banning attempts of creating an opposition party associated with the Luo ethnic group.

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For some, this leads to the perception that Kenyatta, an ethnic Kikuyu himself, was promoting Kikuyu interests over national interests.

According to political observers, when Daniel Moi took office in 1978 following the death of Kenyatta, he pursued policies that benefitted parts of his ethnic group (the Kalenjin), while excluding individuals from other ethnic groups from gaining public office or access to state resources.

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Midrift Human rights network is a non-profit organization in Nakuru.

In a bid to curb election-related violence before, during, and after the election, the organization has lined up an intervention project, to ensure Nakuru County does not found itself a victim of election-related violence.

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Through the REINVENT program that is funded by the UK government (DFID), the Organization has put together a 5-year intervention project plan that seeks to reduce election-related conflict and violence in Nakuru County.

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This would be done through developing harmonised and localized locally owned early warning and early response systems through NGOs, community and CSOs.

The project will focus on 7 sub hi-counties which include Njoro, Molo, Naivasha, Nakuru Town East, Nakuru Town West, Kuresoi North, and Kuresoi South.

The second part of the project that involved sub-county intelligence committee meeting in each of the seven sub-counties had several areas of priority as the country’s focus gears towards the 2022 general election.

One of the areas is land as Nakuru county is majorly known for its abundance in agricultural activities such as maize, wheat farming among others.

However, land has been a scapegoat during the election period in the county as Molo, Kuresoi North, and South, Naivasha and Njoro have always emerged victims of land conflicts.

Most of the issues involve fake title deeds and community chiefs dictating how land should be sold are all the causes of land-related violence in the county.

Shamba system in Mau forest is an issue that revolves around dividing the land for communities living in the sub-county, is one of the deadliest matter due to inequality in land allocation either for farming, grazing or charcoal burning.

Political incitement

Since immemorial, politicians have always used civilians to accomplish their course. It is not a surprise that political incitement is fresh as it was fifty years ago.

With the BBI implementation bill in parliament, the bill will highly dictate the direction of both the country and counties in Kenya.

Leaders with political interests have always used their communities to instil threats to other communities to influence the election outcome. Among the ways used in political incitement include stealing livestock, defiling and raping, Use of vernacular language in political songs that perpetuate violence amongst others.

The 2007 post-election violence that affected Nakuru County was majorly orchestrated by political incitement, land and tribalism. Elements if not tamed early enough, are an atomic bomb in the making.

With the project seeking to reduce all these injustices, Nakuru County will be a safe space for all communities at all times.

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