A message for Kenyans to vote peacefully in the August 8 poll reverberated on Thursday as Coast elders drawn from the nine kayas conducted special peace prayers at Giriama’s Kayafungo shrine in Kaloleni Sub-County.
The event was organised by the Kenya National Commission (Knatcom) for Unesco as one of its initiatives of using the elders to preach peace and harmony in the country.
It was attended by Knatcom board chairman, Rashid Amani, Secretary-general Evaline Njoka and other senior officers from the Ministry of Sports, Culture and National Heritage. Kaloleni Deputy County Commissioner Paul Rotich and his security team were also present.
The chairman of Kayafungo shrine, Mzee Charo Mlewa, called for tolerance among politicians and asked Kenyans not to be divided along tribal lines as the election day approaches.
Praying in the Giriama dialect, Mzee Mlewa said Kenya needs peace and unity since elections will come and go but the stability of the country and the unity of purpose of the people will remain.
“We will vote for only a day and then continue with our day to day lives. I don’t see any reason why the day should bring animosity and hatred. It will be wrong if we engage in violence at this time. We must embrace each other as Kenyans,” he said.
Dr Amani thanked the elders for spreading peace messages to the country, saying that the stability of this nation is very important.
He said that his commission supports every effort geared towards bringing peace to the country since it is only by remaining peaceful that Kenyans can realise their potential.
“At this moment, we need peace to prevail in this country. As elders, you need to make sure that the message you instil in the people in this region is nothing but peace. Knatcom has been and will continue to support the role of the elders and every Kenyan who is preaching peace as a tool of bringing the people together,” he said.
Dr Njoka asked Kenyans to vote peaceful and steer the country from any violence. She tasked the elders with making sure that they don’t rescind on their decisions to spread peace messages but rather continue to call for peaceful co-existence.