, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 2 – The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has said it plans to name and shame politicians and businessmen, who are fanning tribal animosity in the northern parts of the country.
NCIC chairman Mzalendo Kibunjia told Capital News that he already had detailed reports from the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) listing about five top individuals who were responsible for the sporadic violence in the larger northern Kenya.
He said that the commission was consulting the Attorney General over the planned move in order to avoid possible litigation and ensure that those culpable were brought to book.
“We know who the warlords are and these are facts; not things that we are imagining. The warlords in Moyale are known; some of them politicians that we know but we can’t just name them without seeking legal counsel from the AG,” he said.
He added that the commission would forward the reports to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to ensure that such politicians were not cleared for political seats in the upcoming elections.
He mentioned that land issues, illegal arms and historic injustices were some of the items that were being used by the politicians to fuel the violence.
“Some of these politicians are even the ones arming the communities and using emotive issues like land to divide Kenyans, which is very worrying,” he said.
Kibunjia further took issue with the country’s security agencies accusing them of failing to avert the recent tribal clashes in Moyale that have left scores dead.
He argued that there was need to stabilise the region so as to prevent further loss of lives by ensuring that all communities in the area were disarmed.
“The people in Moyale say that there are a lot of militias, from a certain ethnicity, who have crossed from Uganda and are working in cohorts with others in the region to attack them so that they can all flee,” he alleged.
“These militias are known so why is there so much laxity with our security forces?” he asked.
He also expressed concern that there were reports that disarmament exercises were conducted selectively leaving out some communities at the mercy of their neighbours.
“The people in Isiolo say that the Turkanas, Boranas, some Somalis and even Merus were disarmed but those in the neighbouring Samburu County were not disarmed. So we have morans from Samburu attacking people in Isiolo and stealing their property,” he said.
The commission also wants the police to enforce curfews in Moyale and Isiolo regions until the area becomes stable.
He further noted that most schools in the region had remained closed due to insecurity and it was therefore necessary to increase security provided to educational facilities.
“Security should at least be provided around schools because it is unacceptable for school children to continue missing classes due to the volatility of the situation on the ground,” he said.
Kibunjia also revealed that the NSIS sent him weekly updates on the situation in every County as a means of mapping out possible conflicts to facilitate better response to tribal tensions.
He however said that the commission did not foresee the recent clashes in Moyale.
“We knew there were underlying issues because we had been holding peace meetings with them but we didn’t see it getting to that point. But I wrote to the President and Prime Minister asking them to deal with the concerns that were being raised in Moyale, as a precaution, but they didn’t,” he said.
Kibunjia also said that there was need for partnerships as the country heads to the next elections. The NCIC is already looking at forming a sustained relationship with the media, the police, civil societies and other government ministries like the Ministry of education to facilitate the same.
“We need to have this debate before the elections and as the NCIC we will continue holding County conversations between various tribes in order to put out tribal fires that could crop up,” he said.
The NCIC is currently in the process of setting up an elections desk that will be tasked with continuous monitoring of the country’s political landscape, in view of the forthcoming polls.