Naivasha political leaders sign peace accord ahead of August Polls

The major political party aspirants in Naivasha skipped a key event that saw local leaders sign a peace accord ahead of upcoming August general polls.

The leaders who included the incumbent MP Jayne Kihara (UDA party), former MP John Kihagi (Independent), Ndegwa Nguthiru (Jubilee) and ODM candidate Antony Rebo Ngure failed to attend the event that saw leaders commit to conduct their campaigns peacefully.

The event organized by Naivasha Professional Association at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church saw over 60 aspirants upend their signatures to the agreed peace accord committing to uphold peace during the electioneering period.

The meeting which brought together State and non-state actors comes barely weeks after the National Cohesion and Integration Commission flagged off Nakuru County as a key hotspot area to electoral related violence.

According to chairman of Naivasha Professional Association (NPA) Eskimos Kobia, the signed agreement is binding to the leaders and the association will pursue and sue aspirants who will cause disturbance to peace through inciting citizens.

Kobia said though Naivasha has been peaceful, there was need for leaders to commit to denounce political intolerance and acknowledge the cosmopolitan nature of the sub-county while wooing voters.

On his part, the association’s legal advisor George Kimani said the accord binds the leaders to foster peaceful coexistence of citizens and communities living and working in Naivasha.

Kimani said the accord seeks to ease political tension ahead of polls and ensure there is no repeat to the violence suffered during the 2007/08 election that occasioned by deaths, displacements and destruction of valuable properties.

Kimani said voters should closely analyze aspirants, their party manifestos and how they intended to change and improve their daily lives on issues such as the high cost of living.

Speaking during the event, IEBC returning officer in Naivasha Ms. Agnes Muriuki urged the leaders to report any threat to peace during their campaigns noting that the body would strictly enforce the electoral code of conduct.

Muriuki at the same time appealed to the media to report accurately, fairly and responsibly on matters of elections to instill confidence in voters.

She assured aspirants and registered voters that IEBC is well prepared to conduct the elections openly and efficiently within the stipulated electoral calendar.

On his part, Walter Nyaribo, a peace advocate, hailed the government efforts for beefing up security around Naivasha assuring residents of a peace during this year’s electioneering period.

Nyaribo said in partnership with the area Deputy County Commissioner’s office, they are conducting various sensitization sessions to the flower farm workers who flee the area for fear of violence every election cycle.



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