NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – Leaders drawn from the Rift Valley have said they will put a strong fight to uphold peaceful coexistence among communities in the region a head of a Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rally set to be held in Nakuru on March 21.
The leaders among them Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika and Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen said they will use the opportunity to celebrate peaceful coexistence that that has been experienced in the region since President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto inked a unity deal in 2013.
“The reason we have been saying that the Nakuru rally will be different is because everyone is welcomed and let everybody remember that Nakuru is a small Kenya and if you are coming there to bring any sorts of insults or abuses against any leader, that shall not be tolerated in Nakuru. We will defend peace by all means necessary,” Kihika told news reporters.
Her sentiments were echoed by Murkomen and Naivasha Women Representative Jane Kihara who vowed to challenge disrespectful utterances and name calling, synonymous with past BBI rallies except the Meru forum on February 29, at the Nakuru rally.
“Everybody will be accommodated but let us remember that Nakuru is the epicenter of peace of Jubilee. There is nothing called Jubilee without Nakuru. So, I urge everybody to behave in a manner that complies with that very important foundation of peace,” Murkomen urged.
Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri called on political leaders to allow the local people to air their views and recommendations urging everybody else from outside the region to attend the rally as a guest and leave the region as peaceful as they will find it.
He insisted that Rift valley is a fragile region with people from different cultures whose peace cannot be tampered with for selfish political ends.
“We are so united that before, we are happy and coexist like brothers and sisters and that is how we want to be. Nakuru is where everything starts both good and bad and we do not want to go there. Let us unite conduct the rally in a peaceful manner as we celebrate the 2013 handshake between President Kenyatta and DP Ruto,” Ngunjiri said.
The eighth and second last BBI rally which brings together 10 counties from Rift valley region will be held next week at Afraha Stadium.
Some 10 counties including Nakuru, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kericho, Bomet, Turkana, Transzoia, West Pokot, Uasin Gishu and Samburu will be represented by their leaders to submit their recommendations to the BBI steering committee.
The final BBI forum will be held in Nairobi County.