MACHAKOS, Kenya, Mar 7 – Two governors have strongly condemned utterances and actions that perpetuate tribalism and hatred among their respective communities.
Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua and his Nyeri counterpart Mutahi Kahiga said the utterances aimed at wedging a conflict between the Kamba and Kikuyu communities was despicable and contrary to the law and order as well as the hallmarks of a civilized society.
In a joint press conference in Machakos, the two county chiefs said it was improper to blame an entire community for trading in charcoal and blame another for a hate song done by a few individuals.
“The two communities are not only neighbours but are literally brothers and sisters drawn from the same ancestors. The bottom line is that we are all Kenyans and should embrace peace and nationalism,” Mutua said.
He said destruction of property and vigilante actions only happen in a lawless country.
Governor Kahiga said the two communities are friends and partners who have traditionally referred to each other as in-laws and their cultures are similar.
”Kenya has seen the growth of intolerance and the planting of the seed of hatred which almost destroyed our country in 2007 and we should never allow ourselves to slide back to those horrific days,” Governor Mutahi said.
The two county chiefs called upon leaders to preach and practise love, tolerance and peace and to understand that their actions and statements affect the behaviour of their people.
The governors also urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to overhaul the agencies that are meant to check hate speech and other retrogressive behaviour and utterances.
“President Uhuru needs to review the composition and leadership of some of the law agencies and inject new blood that acts swiftly and firmly,” said Mutua.
He said the lethargic speed of the agencies concerned with hate speech is also perpetuating the growth of acts that fuel hatred.
The two leaders added that Kitui has decided it does not want the charcoal trade in its county and that needs to be respected adding that the burning of vehicles and retaliation in hate songs and statements is wrong and does not promote harmony.
Governors Mutua and Kahiga said they found it narrow minded for a person to attack another ethnic group yet we all need each other for co-existence and posterity.
They lauded the Council of Governors for setting up a team to mitigate the feud between Kitui and Kiambu counties and called upon their colleagues who are affected to embrace tolerance, forgiveness and peace.
Kahiga is on a three-day benchmarking trip in Machakos County.
He is accompanied by members of his Cabinet and other top county officials.
Kahiga and his team will tour various projects in the roads, health, trade, water and environment sectors.
The team was hosted for an official luncheon by Mutua at the Machakos People’s Park.