NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 21 – Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party Secretary Edwin Sifuna has said that his party is committed to peace as the country edges closer to the 2022 general elections.
Speaking on Tuesday during the commemoration of the 40th International Peace Day in Nairobi, Sifuna said that the party will support a road-map to a peaceful electioneering period adding that ODM is committed to peaceful elections.
The ODM SG called on Kenyans to shun the tribal politics for the sake of peace in the country.
“We must depart from those conversation where we are being put in regions that beaks Sifuna is a Bukusu he should be in Ford Kenya, that because I am a Luhya, I support a Luhya candidate. We will follow principles, we will follow people who have a history of standing up to something,” said Sifuna.
He added that as the Secretary General of the Orange Party he is aware of the tag of violence that hangs over the party which has depicted the outfit in bad light.
Sifuna stated that he attributes the perception on three things pointing out the failure to fully appreciate the constitution rights which allows for demonstration and actions of their opponents which he said have been revealed following the confession by some leaders on their role in pushing the violence perception.
“We have recently heard confessions of some of our opponents that in fact they have sponsored activities and actions that portray this party in bad light but then they attribute those actions to ODM,” he said.
Sifuna added that the violence tag has also been self-inflicted, giving an example of the men in black which emerged in 2015. He added that such movements have not been beneficial to the people.
He further said that ODM party believes in building national political parties adding that Kenyans must depart from conversations of being divided on the basis of tribe or region.
“Nobody is an enemy we are only competitors and we believe there are things we will not do to cement our position as politicians of this country. We believe in peace and unity as a basis of development that’s why my party leader has decided to campaign on a platform of peace and unity,” Sifuna added.
He expressed his frustrations on the failure by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) for its failure to take action on some leaders whose pronouncements have the potential to breach peace.
“In the NCIC we have people who are known hatemongers but none of them has faced any consequences which is frustrating,” Sifuna said.
He added no economic model can succeed when any country is in turmoil in a taunt aimed at Deputy President William Ruto who has been selling a bottom-up economic model as his campaign platform for 2022.
Sifuna insisted that free and fair elections are the only basis for the acceptability of results even as he called on Kenyans to elect leaders who have their interests at heart.
NCIC Chairman NCIC Samuel Kobia who also spoke at the event challenged politicians to commit themselves to peace as the country heads to the 2022 elections.
Kobia added that Kenyans must remember that peace that the country enjoys can easily be destroyed if politicians continue fanning violence.
He condemned the recent violence witnessed in parts of the country such as the recent clashes in Githurai, Nandi, Migori terming them as unfortunate.
“We want to work together to bring political decency in the country for free and fair elections. People must be spared for the anxiety they face every time we come close to elections,” he said.
Kobia added that NCIC has put in place mechanisms across the country to monitor any incidences of violence ahead of 2022 polls.
“We have set up early warning systems to ensure nothing catches us by surprise as we prepare for the elections. We have also invested in state-of-the-art technology to monitor social media so that no one hides behind the screen while encouraging violence,” he said.