, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 30 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has challenged the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to be bold and confront the vice of tribalism that remains a stumbling block in the quest for national integration.
Mr Musyoka said for integration to be fully realised Kenyans need to shun ethnic royalties and that this must be demonstrated in the way people relate with each other and in the distribution of national resources.
The Vice President made the remarks on Tuesday in his Jogoo house office when he met members of NCIC led by their Chairman Dr Mzalendo Kibunja who had paid him a courtesy call.
Mr Musyoka urged them to discourage politicians from building ethnic-based coalitions. Dr Kibunja said among their mandates was to ensure national policies including those of employment do not promote tribalism.
He said they would use schools and scouts to inculcate the culture of Kenya nationalism and to minimise ethnic royalties.
Present were the Minister for Constitutional Affairs and National Cohesion Mutula Kilonzo and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Dr Ludeki Chweya among other dignitaries.
Meanwhile, the Vice President also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the County Council of Mwingi (CCM) and Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) at their Headquarters in Nairobi.
He said the signing of the MoU was a milestone since it lays a strong foundation for sustainable use of natural resources for development of the community.
Mr Musyoka said the CCM does not have the capacity, expertise and resources to efficiently manage the Mwingi National Reserve formerly known as North Kitui National Reserve which was gazetted in 1979 and therefore KWS is currently doing it on its behalf.
He said the Reserve covers 745 square kilometres and is located in Tseikuru district although it is still under the custody of CCM, which covers the larger Mwingi districts.
The Vice President noted that similar to the adjacent Kora National Park, the reserve has low wildlife populations and in the recent past has been encroached by human settlements and permanent agriculture from locals leading to the excision of a two kilometre strip along the reserve’s western border.
He added that the encroachment has also extended beyond the two kilometre strip borderline since adjudication and allocation of the excised portion has not been done, adding that a cut line was cleared
and a proposal for fencing from Tana River to Mitamisyi was done but it has never been executed.
Mr Musyoka called on various relevant government agencies and other partners to sensitise, organise and support locals in adopting practices suitable for the ecosystem.
He said one of the practices is wildlife conservation and other related ones which will help in enhancing and developing community natural resource management institutions and promoting community tourism initiatives and potential attractions even outside the protected areas.
The Vice President added that these initiatives cannot successfully be implemented by a single entity but require a multi-disciplinary approach and collaboration with other institutions.
Earlier, Mr Musyoka held talks with the President of the Child Fund, Ms Ann Gordan who had paid him a courtesy call. He commended Child Fund for their assistance to orphaned children in education and their campaign against the HIV/AIDS scourge.
The Vice President described Child Fund as useful partners of the government in the provision of education and health facilities. Mr Musyoka assured them of the government’s commitment to continue with the cooperation in all the projects that they initiate.
The NGO has been supporting water projects and dairy goat farming in Machakos, several HIV/AIDS projects in Central province, commissioned a water project in Nakuru and an Integrated School in Marigat among many other projects.
Ms Gordan assured that the Fund will continue to support school projects in the country.