National Integration and Cohesion Commission chairman Francis ole Kaparo addresses residents of Kibigori in Kisumu County where border clashes erupted last week leaving six people dead and scores injured. [PHOTO: COLLINS ODUOR/STANDARD]
By Kurian Musa
A citizens’ constitution implementation platform, Jukwaa La Katiba, is blaming politicians for ethnic violence going on in Songhor area along the Nandi-Kisumu border.
Led by Mr Morris Odhiambo, the civil society on Sunday asked the government to; ‘Stop the killing of innocent people by powerful interests.’
Mr Odhiambo condemned violence that continues around Songhor area that has already claimed more than 10 lives this year.
“The violence follows a familiar pattern of pre-election violence. It is the kind of violence that led to the death of more than 200 Kenyans in Tana River in 2012,” Mr Odhiambo said in a statement, adding that the governments’ reaction has been rather slow.
Even though, the civil society held that loss of life must never be condoned, the government needs to deploy more police to the troubled area.
Mr Odhiambo said the Jukwaa la Katiba believes that responsible authorities have conveniently blamed cattle rustling for the violence; an attempt they say is to cover-up the real motives behind the violence.
“Our sources on the ground indicate that the more important issues are political and informed by the need by powerful interests to protect their land holdings,” he said.
Mr Odhiambo claimed that Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government Joseph Nkaissery’s shoot-to-kill orders were a deliberate attempt to divert attention from the real issues.
“We wonder why the National Land Commission is not taking action on the land issues in this case,” the statement by the lobby group adds.
Mr Odhiambo also hit out at the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) for reportedly not taking its work seriously.
“As usual the NCIC is completely ineffective. It is time for Kenyans to rethink this Commission which is gobbling public resources for doing no work,” he said.
Mr Odhiambo was accompanied by John Wamagata, national coordinator, and operation Ondoa Panya: a lobby by the civil society to hold Members of the County Assemblies (MCAs) to be accountable.
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