Bukusu leaders and politicians have been urged to use culture as a unifying factor for Western region residents.
Former Anglican Archbishop Eliud Wabukala said the Bukusu culture has united leaders for a long time, and even before colonialism, and leaders should not walk away from it.
He spoke on Wednesday at Mabanga Farmers’ Training Centre in Kanduyi constituency during the first Bukusu Council of Elders conference. It was attended by religious leaders from Bungoma, Kakamega and Trans Nzoia.
The cleric said everyone should be proud of their tribe and adhere to their culture, which defines them and contributes to good behaviour in the community.
Elders’ chairman Richard Walukano said that if Kenyans do not embrace culture, then communities are doomed.
“We, as elders, are asking our Bukusu leaders from this region to refrain from abusing each other for the sake of peace and unity,” he said.
“Our main purpose for converging here for this three-day conference is to address issues that are cropping up in our society and are making us head in the wrong direction as a community.”
Walukano said the elders feel “embarrassed and ridiculed” when they see elected leaders behave in a manner not tolerated in their culture.
“We are very bitter because according to our Bukusu customs a leaders does not abuse a fellow leader and we are seeing it happening here among our leaders,” he told journalists at the event.
“According to our traditions, any leader who abuses another would be punished.”
Walukano urged leaders to respect each other regardless of their political affiliations.
He said elders are irked by constant hurling of abuses and public disagreements of elected leaders played out in churches, funerals and other functions.
Other leaders at the meeting were Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba, East and Central African King of Abamasaba Bob Mushikomari, Bungoma culture executive Grace Khayota and nominated Ford Kenya MP Patrick Wangamati, who is a member of the Luhya Council of Elders.