By Maimuna Naima
Mkenya Daima (Kiswahili for “Kenyan forever”) is a multi-stakeholder platform to inspire Kenyans towards peaceful elections and prosperity. The program held an engaging day-long forum with the Kenyan Civil Society on May 10, 2022, to enlist their support in ensuring peaceful elections on August 9 this year.
The event brought together hundreds of delegates, including representatives from Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Kenya. GPF Kenya CEO Mr. Daniel Juma Omondi sits on the Steering Committee of the peacebuilding initiative generated by the Kenyan Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).
Speakers at the forum included Dr. Vimal Shah, Mkenya Daima Chairman, and members of the Steering Committee, including Mr. Ken Njiru of the Ungwana Institute; the Chairman of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) Mr. Mutail Kunyiha; Mr. Daniel Juma from Global Peace Foundation; the Deputy CEO of KEPSA, Ms. Martha Cheruto; and the National Coordinator of the National Civil Society Congress Mr. Suba Churchill amongst others.
Mr. Suba Churchill celebrated Kenya as a country that stands on freedom of speech for its citizens through public participation. “Our progress may be slow but that for me are the signs of a democratic progression and realization of a more open and accountable governance.”
Dr. Vimal Shah urged every Kenyan to do their part. “Let us arouse the leader inside every Kenyan, whether it is the father or son, young or old to say nitatenda wajibu wangu (I will do my responsibility).” He added that it is the duty of every Kenyan who is a registered voter to vote as every voice counts.
With regards to the credibility of the elections management body, Mr. Mucai Kunyiha of KAM said that the matter will be raised with IEBC during a meeting on elections preparation, adding that Mkenya Daima would consider long-term and short-term goals that run in between election periods. “There is no one election where we will fix all our problems,” he stated.
“The reason why we have gaps is because people choose to support leaders who are not of integrity. Let’s continue with the conversation and engage actively through Mkenya Daima initiative,” said Ken Njiru, CEO of the Uungwana Institute.
GPF’s Daniel Juma reminded stakeholders to protect vulnerable youth. “It is usually the young people being taken advantage of to cause chaos during elections,” he said. “We have no choice but to engage in a civilized manner. There’s no justification whatsoever for election violence in Kenya.”
All stakeholders agreed that conducting a peaceful election in August and guiding the country’s leadership towards integrity will project Kenya into a bright future.