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Elections 2022: Women, Arise to Secure Peace and Cohesion

Elections 2022: Women, Arise to Secure Peace and Cohesion

Women Mediators Communique

PREAMBLE­­­­­

We the women leaders from North Rift, South Rift and Western Regions have met for a training on Mediation for Peace on 12th and 13th November 2021 organized by the NCCK and Reinvent Programme. The goal of the training was to equip women leaders with skills to adopt mediation and negotiation as strategies for promoting and safeguarding peace and cohesion before, during and after the 2022 General Elections. The training was g­uided by the scripture recorded in Romans 12: 18

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Wishing to play our rightful role of promoting peaceful coexistence in our communities and nation, we now state the following:

1.         Peace is Endangered

Having assessed the state of the nation, we are deeply concerned that peace is gravely endangered as we approach the 2022 General Elections. The intense political mobilisation currently being witnessed across the country, and especially in our regions, has filled Kenyans with anxiety and fear of elections related violence. The hate speech, violence mongering and machismo employed by the politicians is pushing the narrative that “the strongest and fiercest will win”. Coupled with the prevailing impunity where leaders who commit crimes are not punished, Kenyans anticipate tension, voter bribery, hate mongering, violence and disputed election results. This is a situation we all as Kenyans must do everything we can to reverse.

2.         Call to Women to Safeguard Peace

We call upon all women in Kenya to remember that we are the mothers of the nation. We are the ones to nurture and shape the nation to be what God wishes it to be. Let us safeguard the nation for the sake our children and their children.

We remind all women of Kenya the declaration of God recorded in Jeremiah 31: 22

… a woman will surround a man

Fellow women, the time has come for us to surround the men in our nation and protect peaceful coexistence and cohesion before, during and after the General Elections.

3.         Strategies to Promote Peace and Cohesion

To promote peace and cohesion in the nation, we encourage our fellow women to consider and adopt the following mediation and negotiation strategies:

(a)        Prayer and Fasting for the Nation

We encourage you to organize prayer and fasting sessions in your small groups, churches and communities and commit the nation to God. Prayer is the most powerful weapon on earth, and history is full of women who changed their generations through prayer.

(b)       Promote Economic Empowerment of Male and Female Youth

Our children are vulnerable to manipulation by politicians and other actors who bribe them with some few coins to engage in violence. It is upon as the mothers to help the youth identify and sustain income generating initiatives so that they gain financial independence. Of special focus would be innovations that promote value addition of agricultural products.

(c)        Mobilize All to Register and Vote

Every qualified Kenyan has a right to vote for a leader of their choice, and we have therefore committed ourselves to teach and mobilize our community members, young and old, to register as voters and to vote in the elections. We noted with concern that the youth did not enrol in the recent enhanced voter registration exercise, and we shall be talking to them to identify and address their concerns.

(d)       Address Baraza, Church Services and other Social Gatherings

The Bible in James 3: 5 tell us that

… the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.

As women, let us use our tongues to set a fire of peace and cohesion in Kenya. Let us take the opportunity in every social gathering, be it barazas, church services, funerals, weddings, and chama meetings to speak peace and cohesion. We will silence the voices of violence with our messages of peace, knowing that all people listen to their mothers.

(e)        Fellowships with Actors of Violence

In every community, the perpetrators of violence are known. Many times we know action is not taken against them because of impunity and their connections with the administration. We will therefore seek to engage them one on one and encourage them to let go of their violence.

(f)        Mediate Between Conflicting Groups

Further to this, we have committed ourselves to stand between conflicting groups and plead for peace. Towards this, women will partner with other actors, especially church leaders, to bring conflicting parties to the table to peacefully resolve their disputes. Where necessary, we will encourage parties to seek redress in court rather than on the streets.

CONCLUSION

Women are the mothers of the nation, and at this time that anxiety is starting to grip the nation, we have committed to intensify our efforts to promote peaceful coexistence and cohesion in the nation. We will always be inspired by the words of our Lord Jesus Christ recorded in Matthew 5:9

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

May God grant Kenya peace now, and always.

Signed on this 13th day of November 2021 at The Noble Hotel, Eldoret by the NCCK Regional Women Representatives.

NoNameRegionSignature
 Canon Jane LeleinaSouth Rift 
 Pst Salina WekesaNorth Rift 
 Rev Jane SibelenjeWestern 
December 2021
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