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Vijana Twaweza! Promote Elections Poa – North Rift Conference Communique

Vijana Twaweza! Promote Elections Poa

Conference Communique

Just under 100 Youth Leaders drawn from Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, Trans Nzoia, Turkana, Uasin Gishu and West Pokot counties have gathered for the Vijana Twaweza! Youth Conference here at ACK Bishop Muge Conference Center on 10th and 11th November 2021. This Vijana Twaweza! Youth Conference is the ninth one that the NCCK has organized to devolve the aspirations and commitments of the National Youth Conference held on August 22, 2021 to the regional level. It was guided by the theme “Wholesome Youth for a Wholesome Society (1 Timothy 4: 12)”.

Don’t let anyone look down you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

The Youth Leaders present recognized the unique albeit strong responsibility placed on the youth to influence the society by being examples and models of the life God desires for His people.

1.         Twaweza Transform Electoral History ya Kenya

We in this Vijana Twaweza! Youth Conference have reminisced with pain that no youth in Kenya has ever witnessed an election free of tension, violence and bitterness. The approach of elections fills us, and the rest of Kenyans, with terror and fear, never knowing who will be the next victim. Regrettably, it is the youth of the time who are mobilized and paid by known political actors to cause the violence. It is a strong indictment on our elders that individuals who sponsor violence are never punished in accordance with the law.

We in this Vijana Twaweza! Youth Conference have resolved to bring this history to an end. Hatutatumiwa tena kuharibu maisha ya Wakenya juu ya uchaguzi. Azimio letu ni uwanja uwe sawa so that the best team wins.

Towards this, our first step will be to mobilize our fellow youths to actively and peaceful participate in the electoral process by registering as voters, campaigning and vying for positions, voting in the coming General Elections, and rejecting sponsors of violence. Vijana tusiwachie watoto wetu nchi yenye noma kama zile tumepitia.

2.         Youth Manifestos

We in this Vijana Twaweza! Youth Conference have taken cognizance that politics is the process of deciding who gets what, when and how. As such, our future lives are heavily determined by the political leadership in place, since they set the policies, programmes and budgets of our nation and counties. We have therefore resolved to use our resources and platforms to empower our fellow youths to seriously vet all aspirants in the coming General Elections. Kuvotia wazee poa ni kuimprove foundation ya future zetu. Vijana tusilale.

To facilitate the vetting of the aspirants, we will equip our fellow youths to develop manifestos at the local community and interest group levels. Each manifesto will outline the challenges facing them, and the viable interventions to transform the situation. The youth will then present these to aspirants, and ask them questions on how they intend to implement the solutions. We will only support those who have clear and implementable strategies to promote wholesome betterment of the youth.

To kickstart the process, we in this Vijana Twaweza! Youth Conference developed a manifesto for each county, of which we highlight the aspirations and visions to share with county-level positions aspirants:

(a)       Elgeyo Marakwet County

  • Facilitate social and government audits of all projects in the county
  • Support eradication of retrogressive cultural practices through civic education and establishment of rescue centers
  • Develop water conservation and advanced agricultural practices to counter climate change
  • Empower youth to engage in economic activities, and protect those in saccos and boda boda sectors
  • Ensure peace and security, and end banditry

(b)       Nandi County

  • Increase representation of the youth in county government structures and boards to at least one third and improve sporting activities and facilities
  • Promotion of a friendly environment for Persons Living with Disabilities
  • Improvement of the Agricultural Sector by increasing market access and subsidizing farm inputs
  • Education bursaries coupled with improving and increasing education facilities
  • Ensure security for all and especially curb the rising cases of rape

(c)       Trans Nzoia County

  • Creation of awareness and skills on poverty eradication
  • Prioritize establishment of high quality education facilities
  • Address drug abuse through sensitization, alternative activities, and rehabilitation
  • Promote family life education to deal with early pregnancies
  • Youth economic empowerment through employment, creation of a suitable environment for business, and a tax holiday for the youth

(d)       Turkana County

  • Opportunities for youth to compete for political and elective positions
  • Creation of job opportunities for the youth
  • Economic empowerment of the youth through creation of job opportunities and provision of loans and grants
  • Education bursaries for students at all levels
  • Policies and strategies to address corruption, violent politics, and food insecurity

(e)       Uasin Gishu County

  • Creation of more job opportunities for the youth
  • Increase of representation of youth in boards and committees
  • Fight corruption
  • Ring fencing of youth-targeted funds coupled with establishment, empowerment and funding of youth groups
  • Empowering youths on online jobs

(f)        West Pokot County

  • Promote employment of the youth
  • Ensure access to safe and affordable drinking water for all
  • Include the youth in consultations and public debates on security
  • Trainings for youth on entrepreneurship
  • Increase vocational training centers

3.         Give Kenya Peaceful and Credible General Elections 2022

We in this Vijana Twaweza! Youth Conference have noted with concern that the country seems not ready for the General Elections constitutionally scheduled to happen in August 2022 despite having had five years to prepare. Last minute procurement and policy amendments are causing anxiety among the youth.

We call upon the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), the National Steering Committee on Peace-building and Conflict Management, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the National Police Service, and all other concerned stakeholders to partner with the church to promote cohesion and peace. No one should be allowed to incite hatred and violence during this electoral period.

Conclusion

We conclude by reiterating that the youth, who are more than 70% of the population of Kenya, are the greatest resource and wealth of our nation. Let us all exercise wisdom by putting in place structures and platforms for the youth to actively participate in leadership and decision making processes. Let us elect leaders who will be focused on ensuring that the youth, and indeed all Kenyans, can live as per the motivation of 1 Thessalonians 4: 11

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you.

May God bless the work of the hands of all Kenyans, and may God grant the youth of Kenya the opportunities and conducive environment to work with their hands and lead peaceful and prosperous lives.

Signed on this 11th day of November 2021 at ACK Bishop Muge Guest House and Conference Center, Kitale.

Andrew Simiyu

Youth Representative, NCCK Trans Nzoia

Rev Grace Rugut

Regional Manager, NCCK North Rift Region

December 2021
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