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Kobia was speaking in Nairobi on Thursday during a meeting to discuss the formulation of Political Decency and Peace Charter/NCIC

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Cohesion Commission urges politicians to respect Kenyans’ dignity during campaigns

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 23 – The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has urged politicians to respect the dignity of Kenyans during the electioneering period even as the agency works to tame tension ahead of 2022 polls.

Kobia was speaking in Nairobi on Thursday during a meeting to discuss the formulation of Political Decency and Peace Charter.

The charter aims to regulate the conduct of politicians as the country edges closer to the 2022 elections.

The NCIC boss stated that every politician is expected to be decent while conducting themselves during the campaign period.

“I would like us to bear in mind as we try to formulate this charter. Let it not be for 2022 elections but beyond. Decency has to be sufficiently prevalent for us to notice when politicians are indecent,” he said.

The event also brought together representatives from the Swiss Embassy, members of the Senate Committee on National Cohesion, Equal Opportunities and Regional Integration.

He said the peace charter should be a living document that is going to continue to be a companion of politicians and Kenyans in general.

Kobia urged Kenyans to take ownership of the document adding that they have a responsibility to hold leaders to account.

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“The ownership should be of Kenyan people and they should be the ones holding leaders accountable,” he stated.

Kobia further noted that Kenyan politics has been characterized by hate speech for long adding that there was need to guide their conduct henceforth.

“It is important as we formulate this charter to ask ourselves about the ethos and values that must be incorporated here,” he said.

“It is important as we formulate this charter to ask ourselves about the ethos and values that must be incorporated here,” Kobia added.

He said all political leaders will be required to sign the document as a commitment to abide by its rules.

“Time is not on our side. We would like to have this charter when we hold our first symposium of the leaders of registered political parties. We are planning seven symposiums and we will start with the political leaders whom we want to be the first to sign this charter,” he said.

The bid for a charter by NCIC comes at a time when the country is witnessing rising political temperatures with instances of violence and political intolerance reported in some parts.

Just recently, ODM presidential ticket aspirant Jimi Wanjigi was forced to end his speech after he was stoned and heckled by people believed to be supporters of his rivals during a roadside rally.

The same was witnessed in Nyeri on September 5, when unruly youths hurled stones on Deputy President William Ruto’s convoy and lit bonfires during his visit to the area.

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Ruto linked the incident to some leaders opposed to him.

Currently, the government is holding a security operation to flush out armed bandits in Laikipia county, an incursion that has also been blamed on politics.

Already several leaders have been arrested and charged in connection with the conflict.

‘The Political Decency and Peace Charter will not only regulate politics of intolerance but will go a long way in generating shared values that will be embraced by Kenyans,” NCIC Commissioner Sam Kona said.

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