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Ferry bandit attack victims to polling stations — NCCK

The displaced have a right to vote and it's state's duty to ensure their safety

In Summary

• NCCK said it is the democratic right of every Kenyan to participate in elections.

• The clerics said thousands of residents displaced by bandits might not access polling stations.

NCCK woman mediator in Baringo. Rev Christine Kipkoshiom addressing the media after a meeting in Kabarnet town on Thursday, August 4.
HELP BANDIT VICTIMS: NCCK woman mediator in Baringo. Rev Christine Kipkoshiom addressing the media after a meeting in Kabarnet town on Thursday, August 4.
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

The government has been urged to help transport displaced bandit attack victims in Kerio Valley to vote on Tuesday.

National Council of Churches of Kenya woman mediator, Baringo chapter Rev Christine Kipkoshiom said every Kenyan has a democratic right to participate in an election.

Kipkoshiom said, "The honourable electorates displaced by bandits should be escorted and transported to vote in their polling stations just as our children are being treated annually during national examinations."

She spoke while accompanying fellow clergy to sign an election peace charter and a climate change manifesto in Kabarnet town on Thursday.

Kipkoshiom also urged the state to help the thousands displaced by floods in Rift Valley lakes, especially Lake Baringo, to go and vote.

She said not one resident should complain of being left out of the voting for fear of bandit attacks or floodwaters.

“It is the lawful mandate of the government to protect the lives of people with their property, as it is the fundamental responsibility of the people to elect leaders of their choice,” Kipkoshiom said.

She was supported by Kabarnet Living Water Tabernacle Church Bishop Richard Aengwo and Loruk Anglican Church, Venerable Michael Cherop.

NCCK members displaying Baringo climate change manifesto in Kabarnet town on Thursday, August 4
CLIMATE CHANGE:L NCCK members displaying Baringo climate change manifesto in Kabarnet town on Thursday, August 4
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

Cherop said there are thousands of displaced bandits attack victims from volatile villages of Kinyach, Yatya, Kapturo, Chemoe, Arabal, Sinoni and Mukutani in Baringo North and Baringo South.

“The families are putting up in makeshift temporary structures and people’s homes in Mochongoi, Marigat and Kabarnet,” he said.

He urged the government to deploy enough security officers to help them vote.

“The same should be done in every insecurity-prone area across the country to see to it that Kenyans engage in a peaceful election,” Cherop said.

Aengwo said Kenyans want to continue their normal lives after the election. He called on citizens to vote and accept the results.

He also appealed to the next president-elect to come up with stringent measures to help end banditry once and for all “so that people can coexist in peace”.  

CLIMATE CHANGE

The clergy further signed and launched a climate change manifesto saying it shall be presented to the new elected leadership.

“To rekindle the dwindling economy, climate change must be brought to the table of every stakeholder both in the county and the national government for discussion,” Kipkoshiom said.

She said Baringo's frequent droughts, floods and banditry are the three major life-threatening challenges frustrating the livelihoods.

NCCK members after signing peace charter and launching Baringo climate change manifesto in Kabarnet town on Thursday, August 4
NCCK: NCCK members after signing peace charter and launching Baringo climate change manifesto in Kabarnet town on Thursday, August 4
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

“We must all rise up to support environmental conservation, say no to careless and rampant cutting of trees and charcoal burning.

"Let us teach our people to embrace alternative sources of fuel rather than relying solely on firewood,”  she said.

By so doing, she said, Baringo shall be transformed from a hardship and food-scarcity county into a productive county of plenty.

“Banditry shall also be a thing of the past because the warring pastoral communities have always been fighting over meagre pasture and water resources," Kipkoshiom said. 

(Edited by V. Graham)

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