The Coast (RC) Regional Commissioner, John Elungata, has called on politicians to wage non-violent campaigns ahead of the August 9, 2022 general election in a bid to preserve peace in the country.
Elungata called on political leaders who are vying for various elective seats to particularly refrain from hurling insults and verbal attacks, but rather to campaign by addressing issues that would improve people’s livelihoods.
He challenged members of the political class to talk about peace when campaigning and to avoid activities and behaviors that could create conflict and tension between communities.
The RC, who is also the Chairman of the Regional Security and Intelligence Committee (RSIC), spoke at an election preparedness forum held at the Coast Regional Headquarters (Uhuru na Kazi Building) in Mombasa.
“The government is committed to strengthening peace and unity and ensuring a peaceful electoral process. Let us renounce activities that will bring violence during the elections. Elungata said
Flanked by Coastal Regional Police Commander Titus Karuri, Elungata reiterated that the upcoming general elections are not a matter of life and death and that local politicians and their supporters must conduct themselves with decorum.
According to the CR, politicians should ensure that they carry out their campaigns within the stipulated time between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and refrain from extending their political activities after sunset.
“As a security team, we would not allow politicians to mount campaigns at night disguised as house-to-house visits with crowds of supporters in tow,” he said.
“We also urge young people not to let themselves be used to engage in violence during elections,” he added.
At the same time, he revealed that the government had launched the third phase of the “Kazi Mtaani” program which enlisted thousands of young people. He said the move would keep young people engaged in meaningful activities.
“Young people should take advantage of the Kazi Mtaani program and avoid being lured by rogue politicians with selfish interests to engage in illegal activities,” he said.
Sheikh Omar Buya, a religious scholar, challenged politicians and their supporters to be careful with their actions and statements so as not to create unnecessary tension.
Sheikh Buya called for peace and tolerance to help build stability and progress in the country before, during and after the elections.
The Muslim cleric said religious leaders will continue to promote peace ahead of the elections.