NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 24 – Alumni drawn from a UK funded international scholarship and fellowship award scheme will Tuesday meet to discuss the state of peace and security in the country ahead of the August 8 polls.
Experts from various fields of study who have had an opportunity to pursue postgraduate programmes under the Chevening scholarship scheme funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office will seek to create awareness on the need for peace during and after the elections, according to the Alumni Chairperson Jane Gitau.
“We shall be looking at peace and security being very important because the last few elections have not been very peaceful and we need ask ourselves how we can make elections an everyday affair because elections come and go,” Gitau, a University of Wales media scholar, told Capital FM News.
According to Gitau, the alumni will also seek to engage political and civil society leaders with proposals on how to achieve stability throughout the electioneering period thus realising a peaceful electoral process.
“We want to bring an understating that elections are cyclical and that life doesn’t have to be threatened because of elections,” she said.
Gitau noted that it was critical the electorate seized the opportunity to select leaders who would best champion their interests without escalating tension to further selfish interests of the political class.
Voters for instance need to examine the performance of leaders in both levels of government and in particular the county governments which also play an integral role in the country’s development.
“It’s sad that governors almost became little presidents in their respective counties and were then demanding motorcades and luxuries. We also started with some bickering between county governments and the national government and we hope those were teething problems which will be done away with as the next five-year term begins,” Gitau disclosed.
According to Gitau, leaders need to prioritise development in the next dispensation to ensure that public resources are used in a manner that empowers citizens at the grassroots.
Wasteful expenditures and ballooning wage bills according to the Chevening alumni also needs to form the agenda of both levels of government to spur development in the country.
“It would be nice to see resources being spent on real delivery so that we’re not just looking at governance in terms of ‘tenderpreneurship’ but in terms of real service delivery,” she said adding that counties needed to be keen on how they spend public funds.