Is peace necessarily the absence of war?

Friday September 20 2019

Chaos ensues at Kisumu County Assembly on September 10, 2019 over the ousting of Speaker Onyango Oloo. Such behaviour disrupts peace efforts. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Today, we mark the International Day of Peace.

This is the day all humanity is expected to commit to peace above all differences, and to contribute to building a culture of peace.

But what comes to mind when you hear about peace? Is it the absence of war? Or is it the quiet living in serenity?

Peace is not necessarily the absence of violence. You could be spared physical violence, yet suffer inner turmoil and conflict.

Currently, the world’s peace is disturbed as the West seeks to uphold nationalism to the exclusion of anyone they do not identify with.

In Britain, a lie was spawned that it was sending £350 million (Sh43.75 billion) to the European Union every week.


Based on that lie, the island nation voted in a referendum to leave the EU. Later, the people discovered the lie too little too late.

Now, the island is divided and peace disrupted, as it seeks to undo the vote and stay in the EU. Was this politicians’ lie worth the country’s peace?


So what is disrupting Kenya’s peace? Tribal factions come to mind. But what fuels these factions to begin with?

Some of us assume that the politician’s word is golden. We do not even question or offer an opinion on what is said, believing that our own wouldn’t lie to us.

We take their word for the truth. If they need us to support their cause, we are there. If they require us to oppose and defy their opponents, we turn up in droves.

Currently, Kenyans are divided and aligned to Team Building Bridges, Kieleweke, Punguza Mizigo, Embrace or Tangatanga.

What is the worst that would happen if we chose to punguza mizigo (reduce our burden) to do away with over-representation and over-expenditure?

What are the cost and benefits of having a government with a president and prime minister?

To maintain our inner peace as individuals and outer peace as a country, we cannot hinge our future and hope on the words of politicians.

The Bible says, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

The writer focuses on children’s issues; [email protected]