SENSITISE RESIDENTS

Kalenjin, Kikuyu elders plan joint peace meetings pre-polls

They will also discuss development issues and projects to benefit both communities

In Summary

• The Kikuyu Council of Elders and the Kalenjin Council of Elders are already discussing peace forums that will also address development issues.

•The two councils have already called for tolerance and peaceful campaigns in Rift Valley in 2022.

George Kinyanjui sips porridge after being installed as chairman of the Kikuyu elders in Uasin Gishu on November 14 in Eldoret town.
ELDERS George Kinyanjui sips porridge after being installed as chairman of the Kikuyu elders in Uasin Gishu on November 14 in Eldoret town.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

Elders from the Kikuyu, Kalenjin and other communities in Rift Valley will hold joint meetings to sensitise residents on peace and unity ahead of the general elections.

The Kikuyu Council of Elders and the Kalenjin Council of Elders are already discussing peace forums that will also cover development issues and projects to benefit multiple communities.

The two councils have called for tolerance and peaceful campaigns in Rift Valley ahead of next year’s elections. Chairman (emeritus) of the Kalenjin elders Major (Rtd) John Seii has been leading unity meetings among elders.

“All we want is peace and unity of our people at all times," Seii said.

The Kikuyu elders in Uasin Gishu county installed a new spokesman, George Kamau Kinyanjui, who says they will work with other communities to foster peace.

“We will now go out to meet the elders from the other communities so  we strengthen the peace and unity we have," Kinyanjui said.

He said elections should not be used to divide Kenyans who otherwise live together peacefully.

“Even during the campaigns, we want all our leaders to campaign freely in all parts of the country so at the end of the day, voters can freely decide because we are all Kenyans," Kinyanjui said.

He was installed in Eldoret during a colorful and elaborate ceremony of traditional rituals.

Kamau, 75, was been installed to take over from Mzee Kamunu wa Kabari who died two month ago.

Kamau will be spokesman and leader for the more than 380,000 members of the community in Uasin Gishu county.

The installation comes at a significant time, just 10 months to the polls. He will play a crucial role in the community within the county that is hoe to DP William Ruto.

Kamau, popularly known as Mtalii, was installed by elders aged over 80 years at the ceremony  led by Mzee Mathenge Wa Iregi.

The ceremony took place at Kamau's home near Langas in Eldoret.

"I have accepted this position of leadership and I will work hard to represent the community according to the powers bestowed on me," Kamau said.

The spokesman said as the country heads to the polls leaders and all Kenyans should avoid actions that can trigger animosity.

“Let's all ensure we do not utter words that can spark animosity and our leaders should ensure they do not misuse our youth to cause chaos during campaigns," he said.

The installation ceremony was attended by vice chairman of the Kikuyu community in Rift Valley, Joseph Wainaina, and  other community representatives.

"The elders are very useful and have always helped in guiding our community and ensuring peace and harmony within families and the community," Wainaina said.

(Edited by V. Graham)