How to promote unity by Jeffrey Omondi Kariaga

It is paramount that the existence of every single human being on the planet is respected. It is also mandatory that their goals ambitions and desires are held at a very high stature by everybody who cares to relate with them. That’s why the Bill of Rights in the Kenyan Constitution is vital.

These simple sentences can strongly be embedded in the human psyche by virtuous upbringing of the child. Children are more susceptible to learning between the ages of 0-3 as was stated repeatedly by former US President Barack Obama. It is during this age that the virtuosity of the upbringing should begin.

However, we live in an ethnically polarized Kenyan society where parents raise their children to be more trivially conscious and less human faceted. It is therefore highly important to institute a school curriculum similar but on its own way unique to the constitution of Kenya, that strictly lays out a unifying procedure of The Kenyan tribe and not the Ethic Tribe.

This will guide teachers to articulate within the education system the importance of respect for a difference of opinion and the legality of embracing each other for being different.

Only then can the teaching of unity become an hypodermic syringe injected into the mind of the citizens and lead people to reason before destruction and humanity before tribe. When the children later grown to adults, they will have mentally developed to love country and fellow citizens regardless of ethnicity or political affiliation.

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Kenya My Mother Land by Nelson Asira Otieno

Kenya my mother land hear my cry! Where did the rain start beating us? Is this where we want to be as a nation? It is quite evident that unity eluded us somewhere and we have to look for it, Go back to the values of our National Anthem, 53 years and it is still the most powerful tool Kenyans ever possessed. The only prayer cum National Anthem. Our ancestors left us with the powerful words of this holy song. Its values clearly inscribed; love, peace, justice, prayerfulness, hard work, inclusivity, patriotism, service, thanksgiving… and I could go on and on to remind you that every word of the Anthem is sacred. Why did we stop teaching our children and the generations after us these values?
Why did we stop embracing diversity? What happened to the spirit of ‘Harambee’ when every Kenyan ‘in common bond united’ would have one voice ‘all in one accord’ and nothing would stop us to achieve our national goals on development. The war against the colonialists is a testimony. I fear we might have missed it somewhere! Blood was shed by our ancestors that we may have peace today, why fight again today? Why shed more blood today?
Hear my cry! Oh Kenya! Have we had enough of peace? Have peace concerts as many as possible, rally behind peace ambassadors and let’s pursue UNITY. We have every tool we need to campaign for peace, if we spend all our lifetime campaigning for our favorite candidates in every electioneering period when will we advocate and teach the spirit of togetherness? My sentiment is that lets heal our own wounds before we wound others the more. Teach each other the value of peace, civic education is key. Everyone has a right to vote. They need to know how to do it. Let’s preach the gospel of peace.
In addition, we have to go online and infest the network with the message of love. Why? That is where it all begins. We kill each other online before we actually actualize it physically. My stand remains as long as I live the common bond is our only hope.
Well, all is not lost! Let’s roll up our sleeves and pursue peace, peace within, peace with one another and restore ‘the glory of Kenya’ ‘a heritage of splendor’ and ‘the fruits of our labor fill every heart with thanksgiving’. Let’s endeavor to be just and fair in all we say and do for it is the beginning of Peace, love and Unity.

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How to promote Unity in Kenya by Erick Mark

I vividly remember when Kenya’s foreign affairs minister, Amb Amina Mohammed lost being the next AU Commission. I remember the conversation on social media was between Jubilees and then Cord supporters. Those in Jubilee were sad and were trying to give reasons for her lose while those in Cord were happy. Worth noting was that she had vied as a Kenyan and her win would put Kenya into a good map internationally. I can give other examples where Kenyans have showed mixed reactions based on their tribes, political affiliation and regions. I can confidently say that we are not united as a country. Kenya is divided right in the middle.
Is it possible to unite, yes. First, let us ensure that we have free and fair processes in our country. We are heading to an election and the IEBC has the sole mandate to ensure that the elections they conduct are free and fair. If done so, our leaders will accept the results and so are the citizens and the country will unite. Both parties that are participating in the process should have confidence in IEBC.
Justice also brings about unity in a country. We need justice in all the processes that are building our country. Most importantly, our judiciary should be seen by all to be upholding justice. Justice should not be delayed nether denied.
Equitable distribution of resources brings about unity. Citizens of a country should feel and see that the national cake is being shared in an equitable way. Government jobs and other opportunities should be given based on merit and not ethnic background and loyalty. To quote President Obama on his historic visit to Kenya ‘”A young child in Nyanza Province is four times more likely to die than a child in Central Province – even though they are equal in dignity and in the eyes of God. That’s a gap that has to be closed. A girl in Rift Valley is far less likely to attend secondary school than a girl in Nairobi. That’s a gap that has to be closed.’ He was referring to the inequality in our country that brings about disunity.

Lastly, to unite, we need citizenry and patriotism. As citizens, it is our duty to uphold our national values as enshrined in our constitution. Peace, love and unity are some of the values we need to uphold. By the mere fact that a particular leader from a particular community has failed doesn’t mean the whole community should be dragged in. If each Kenyan citizen loved the other, we would be united. We cannot live apart but need one another. To make our Kenya, we need the pride of the Luos, the industry of the Kikuyus, the loyalty of the Luhyas, the perseverance of the Somalis, the hard work of the Kalenjins. We need all the 42 tribes.

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Voting is a right not a privilage

Voting in general election is aright and not a privilege as many people may take it because election day determines the fate of the country and the persons to lead the people in the next five year, in that note politician will tend to campaign in-order to create visibility to the mass so as gather more votes by influencing peoples ideas during campaign period but its also important for youth and civil society organization to help in preaching peace during and after election as the nation do not starts and end with election, but we need one another after the election and we should live as one nation and help people understand why every vote counts the reason as why people should vote wisely
Presidential election is very important in that it needs somebody who can unite the nation,tribal free,corruption free and more so one is ready to utilize country’s resources effectively and efficiency by creating more opportunities to the minority groups especially to the youth as they are the large sub population in Kenya,in that note in 10 years from now, Kenyans will realize that female president can do much better that male president interms of development as women tend to be progressive that men but this can only happen when gender discrimination will no longer be felt in whatsoever way in all the country.

By Mourine Adem

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Role of Youth in Peace Building and Violence Prevention

Martin Luther king once said ‘we must live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools. History reveals to us, that the youth have been key at every step of advancement of human kind. . Young men have been recruited to fight for their peoples, tribes and nations as long as mankind has existed. Great kings used the youth to advance their selfish need to conquer. History also it teaches of great conquerors, like Alexander the great, Napoleon Bonaparte, who conquered the world in their youth. The Mau Mau were young men who led to the independence of our country. Tom Mboya was in his youth when he made great contributions to our country Kenya.
Fast forward to recently, the youth form a significant part of the world’s population, currently the median age of the world is 19.In Kenya, while 51% of voters are the youth only 13% of candidates. It may be the 21st century but not much has changed, the youth are still center stage of everything, great innovation that have revolutionized our Country and world are from the youth, MPESA is an example. Then again they are still being used to advance the agenda of the older generation.
The youth has a big role in peace building and violence prevention in our country. Election violence has ravaged our country so many times in the past that fear arises every time an election is approaching. Kisumu has experienced its share of violence, most recent violent demonstration after contested, parliamentary seat nomination. The mandate of the youth to build peace and prevent violence cannot be overstated as they are both perpetrators and victims of violence.
It is the responsibility of the youth as much as is it of everyone else to build peace. Building peace starts with accepting this and being proactive in this agenda, leaving the back seat and being at the front line. The next step is the refusal to be involved in violence and adopting non-violent approaches to conflict resolution when conflict arises. Non-violent approaches include dialogue, mediation, reconciliation and rehabilitation. This approaches are being used and have been shown to work, applying them to the individual level, so that they are a responsibility of everyone is the next step.
Youth are the center of technology, it is their choice to use this to advance peace. Social media can be used to propagate conflict, but used in the right way conflict transformation can be achieved. I believe it was the goal of young mind like Mark Zuckerbag, the social media was to bring people together rather than divide them. Education is also an important factor in the advancement of peace, it empowers the youth to embrace peace and security giving alternatives to violence while fostering behavior change. Finally the youth should embrace the Ubuntu culture of I am who I am because of who you are, this embrace tolerance and conflict transformation.

By Adams Odero Miranda

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