GS Meeting Clan EldersThe National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has embarked on a series of intra and inter- ethnic community dialogue forums in various parts of the country.

The aim of the meetings is to foster healing and reconciliation in view of the underlying conflicts, historical grievances and painful memories held by Kenyans.

NCCK believes that a way must be found to transform the zero-sum, winner take all mentality that is both the cause and product of conflict. Political leaders of conflicting communities must see collaboration – even with former foes – not as an abstract ideal or as an act of self sacrifice, but rather as a matter of enlightened self interest.

 The forums, spearheaded by  NCCK General Secretary Reverend Canon Peter Karanja is a follow up of various engagements of the Council  that started close to three years ago to foster  peace and reconciliation in the country.

 The initiative mainly focuses on  communities living in areas hitherto considered hot spots for violence. They include areas like Borabu, Sotik and Sondu. Other areas are Tana River, Magarini and Kilifi in the Coastal  region where members of the outlawed Mombasa Republican Council is alleged to have been behind a series of attacks that have left various people dead with others wounded in the recent past.

NCCK believes that by creating a series of interactions between conflicting communities, barriers will be broken, hostilities neutralized, past grievances resolved, trust fostered, resilience enhanced, and social bridges built.

Speaking during a meeting with the Kaya Elders in Mombasa, Canon Karanja said successive governments were to blame for the injustices facing various communities in the country. He added that the Council shall continue pursuing peaceful engagements between communities to not only ensure peace and stability in Kenya but also resolve the underlying issues.

Since January this year, Canon Karanja has held discussions on peace with elders from the Kalenjin, Kikuyu, Abagusii and Luo communities. Last week Canon  Karanja led a delegation of NCCK’s top leadership in presenting  a memorandum to President Uhuru Kenyatta. The memorandum  appealed to the president to prioritise national healing and reconciliation following the just concluded general elections.

Canon Karanja is a goodwill  ambassador appointed by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC).