NCIC warns politicians against divisive politics in BBI rallies

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NCIC chairperson Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia adressing the media at NCIC offices in Nairobi
NCIC chairperson Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia adressing the media at NCIC offices in Nairobi

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has urged politicians to safeguard the integrity of the BBI text. The commission’s chairperson Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia warned those entrusted with organizing the delegates forums  and rallies as well as speakers to avoid distortions and only make suggestions and additions to improve it.

“On the basis of those sacred texts, we have, for over the years, built bridges of hope, unity, dignity, inclusivity, and shared among Kenyans. These texts underline strong national ethos, values and attitudes. Together, in concerted efforts, Kenyans can craft BBI recommendations to a level of a national sacred text that will inspire us to build a more united, cohesive, peaceful, just and prosperous nation’,” said Dr. Kobia.

NCIC emphasized that the politicians should ensure meaningful participation of women, youth and people living with disabilities in agenda setting and formulation of resolutions and recommendations, which will uplift the dignity of the traditionally marginalized. 

For security purposes during the rallies, NCIC urged the organizers and leaders to be accountable for any form of unbecoming behavior and violent actions from their supporters and fans. It warned that serious actions will be taken against anyone trying to divide Kenyans through ethnicism or selfishness.

He emphasized that during the forums, freedom of expression should be key. “Speeches and utterances must avoid abusive, exclusive, demeaning language and stereotyping or profiling of other people,” warned Dr Kobia.

He was speaking while issuing guidelines to all stakeholders on how to manage BBI rallies without destabilizing peace in the country. This comes after a number of politicians have been quoted using divisive language in previous BBI meetings held in Kisii, Kakamega, Mombasa and Kitui.

Written by Sharon Atsianji