Government initiated joint National peace programme

47,000 youth leaders across the country are to be sensitized by the national government on peace resolution mechanism as the country heads towards the August 8th General Election.

The national government has initiated the joint peace programme in which 1,000 youth leaders will be identified and trained in each of the 47 counties as a measure of mitigating past experiences where youth have been used by politicians to perpetrate anarchy.

According to Kisumu County Commissioner (CC), Maalim Mohammed, the initiative dubbed Sauti 47 is being organized jointly by the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government and involves four other government agencies.

The series of meetings, according to Maalim to be held before the end of this month are geared towards mitigating factors that make youth vulnerable perpetrators of election-related violence, he said.

The programme aims at reaching 1,000 youth leaders per county through town hall meetings with four thematic areas; National Cohesion and Integration, healthy lifestyles devoid of drugs, role of youth in sustainable peace and entrepreneurship for self-reliance, reads a memo signed by Principal Secretary, Karanja Kibicho.

The government agencies involved are the National Steering on Peace Building and Conflict Resolution, National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) and Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF).

The NCIC has already mapped out areas prone to political anarchy based on the 2007/08 post election violence in which youth were the main perpetrators.

Some of the hot spots, include Kisumu, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, and Nairobi among other areas.

In Kisumu, the CC has held a series of meeting with various stakeholders including political candidates, the business community, boda boda operators, religious leaders among others.

Political leaders signed a code of conduct to maintain peace before, during and after the general election.

Maalim says the notion that Kisumu was prone to political violence after every four years during general election will not be allowed.

He has warned youth to keep off any activities that may expose them to being misused by politicians, saying security apparatus will deal firmly with any perpetrators of violence.

Source: Kenya News Agency