REMARKS BY MR. JOSEPH OLE LENKU, CABINET SECRETARY,  MINISTRY OF INTERIOR AND COORDINATION OF NATIONAL GOVERNMENT DURING THE LAUNCH OF THE PAMOJA INITIATIVE HELD AT THE SERENA HOTEL , NAIROBI ON 10TH OCTOBER, 2014.

 Principal Secretary, Interior;

Principal Secretary, Coordination of National Government

Danish Ambassador to Kenya;

UNDP Country Director;

Chairman, National Cohesion and Integration Commission;

Secretary General, National Council of Churches of Kenya;

Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Private Sector Alliance;

Senior Ministry Officials

Religious Leaders, Partners and stakeholders;

Representatives from our Development Partners;

Distinguished Guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It gives me great pleasure to be here today to officially launch the Pamoja Initiative, whose main objective is to promote the deepening of community dialogues on National Cohesion and Reconciliation. 

 I am aware that the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has been running a similar Programme for over six years and therefore wish to take this opportunity to appreciate the NCCK for the preliminary initiatives as well as the achievement made so far.

 Ladies and Gentlemen, 

As you are aware, the Executive Order No. 2 of May 2013 assigns the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government the mandate to coordinate the management of national cohesion and reconciliation. 

 In order to drive this agenda, the institutions under the Ministry namely the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), the Directorate of National Cohesion and National Values and the National Steering Committee on Peace Building and Conflict Management have continued to work closely to realize peace, national cohesion and reconciliation. 

 I am delighted that a new team of commissioners has been appointed and sworn into office. In this regard I congratulate the Chairman and his team of Commissioners for a well-deserved appointment. As you well know, the Commission is mandated to, among other things, facilitate and promote equality of opportunity, good relations, harmony and peaceful co-existence between persons of different ethnic and racial communities of Kenya.

To the new Commissioners as you settle down to discharge your mandate as provided for in the National Cohesion and Integration Act, 2008, you can count on the full support of my office.

 Ladies and Gentlemen, 

The promotion of national cohesion and national reconciliation require a multi-faceted and a multi-pronged approach that needs the input of every Kenyan individual. The overall agenda is demanding and requires the involvement of various actors and stakeholders. 

 In this regard therefore, the partnership of my Ministry, the National Council of Churches of Kenya, the Inter-religious Council of Kenya, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission and the Kenya Private Sector Association (KEPSA) is timely and most appropriate at this point in the history of our nation.

 The Pamoja initiative must also bring on board more partners, actors and stakeholders. This is the very reason why we have gathered here to share ideas on how best we can promote a culture of cohesion and tolerance, as well as a values-based society in Kenya especially in view of the prevailing economic, political, environmental and social-cultural challenges in the country.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

The government appreciates partnerships and collaborations and recognizes that strong and focused linkages are needed to jointly address the aforementioned challenges facing the country. As such, public-private partnerships (PPP) have become the rallying call for both development partners and the Government. 

 I therefore wish to invite the involved parties to support one another in this noble mission of inculcating national cohesion and national values in the Kenyan society. 

 Ladies and Gentlemen, 

As a Ministry, we acknowledge the enormous benefits that can be derived through public-private partnerships with diverse stakeholders. The launch of this great initiative is therefore evidence of the importance we attach on forging such partnerships. 

 As Kenyans, we are aware that we do not have a spare country to run to should we play around with the safety and security of our beloved nation. 

 We must all seek to remain united irrespective of our ethnic and cultural diversities. Building social cohesion and promotion of national values is as much about building hope and aspiration as it is about confronting fears and prejudices. 

We must realize that national cohesion and national values cannot be achieved singlehandedly but through collaboration and building partnerships with various stakeholders. It requires the support and input from all of us. It is for this reason that I welcome you to contribute ideas, experiences and resources towards promoting national cohesion and reconciliation.

I wish to reiterate my commitment in ensuring the strengthening of the National Cohesion and national values functions through prioritization of the necessary legal, policy and institutional frameworks.  

I will also continue to lobby for adequate funding for the three key institutions and the Pamoja Initiative.  At this juncture allow me to plead with our development partners to consider raising funding for this endeavor.

 In conclusion, let me reiterate the Government’s commitment in supporting the Pamoja Initiative that has been jointly developed as a national Programme towards the strengthening of cohesion, integration and promotion of national values.

With these few remarks, Ladies and gentlemen, it is now my pleasure and privilege to declare “THE PAMOJA INITIATIVE” officially launched.

 THANK YOU

 JOSEPH OLE LENKU

CABINET SECRETARY, INTERIOR & COORDINATION OF NATIONAL GOVERNMENT