Francis Kaparo spells out hurdles to cohesion - Daily Nation

NCIC's Francis Kaparo spells out hurdles to cohesion

Thursday August 9 2018

National Cohesion and Integration Commission

National Cohesion and Integration Commission Chairperson Francis Kaparo addresses media at his office on August 3, 2018. The commission's tenure has ended. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PATRICK LANG'AT
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The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has singled out county border wars and the fight for resources as some of the biggest impediments to cohesion.

In its handover report on Thursday at the end of their four-year tenure, the Francis Kaparo-led team called for deliberate efforts to address the issues.

"County border disputes have created tension. In some instances, violent conflicts between residents of adjacent counties have led to loss of lives, destruction of property, thus undermining objectives of devolution and national security," the team's report said.

MAINTAIN PEACE

The commission cited boundary disputes in Isiolo and Meru, West Pokot, Turkana and Baringo, Garissa and Wajir, Kisumu and Kericho and Kisumu and Nandi.

The controversies, the NCIC noted, have taken two perspectives: disputes concerning actual boundaries of the counties and disputes based on historical claims outside the constitutionally gazetted county borders.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, who received the report, asked Kenyans to shun such conflicts.

"I have said time and again that these administrative boundaries are not for wananchi. They do not need them.

"These ones are just for the government officials to know their places of work. Period. Kenyans are free to work, live and invest everywhere and anywhere in Kenya," Dr Matiang’i said.

PEACE DEAL

In the spirit of the March 9 truce deal between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, Dr Matiang’i said Kenya now has a unique chance to enhance development.

"Almost 40 per cent of the things I am worried about is solving conflicts arising from ethnic faultiness, and it is very unfortunate. Sometimes we even go to annoying lengths of clan lines," he said.

Other issues the team viewed as hurdles are access to firearms, political organisation along ethnic lines, long-standing historical grievances, and land conflicts.

The commission recommended that the NCIC should set up offices in all the 47 counties, be allocated more funds to cover election-related activities and cultivate a close working relationship with the Judiciary to improve alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

STAFF DIVERSITY

Further, the commission said counties, and all other public institutions, must adhere to the requirement to diversify their employees.

"It is unfortunate that we can reverse a good thing and go back to the negative. We should not allow people to tell us who to hire because of the ethnic representation of any government agency in that area. We cannot do that," Mr Kaparo said.

So far, the commission has trained 1,200 schools, 500,000 pupils and 1,000 teachers on building cohesion and integration.

Other commissioners are Irene Wanyoike (vice-chairperson), Morris Dzoro, Adan Abdi Mohammed, Dr Joseph Nasongo, Prof Gitile Naituli and Dr Roba Sharamo. Ms Belinda Ochiel, who joined the team in 2014, left two years later to join Ford Foundation.