By LEONARD ONYANGO
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has asked political and religious leaders to support the government’s effort in unifying the country after the bruising electioneering period.
Dr Matiang’i said that negative ethnicity has for long taken root in the country because political and religious leaders don’t practice cohesion.
“Negative ethnicity thrives because of hypocrisy among leaders. We preach peace and national unity but do the opposite because we are not faithful people,” said Dr Matiang’i when he presided over the launch of Ms Alice Nderitu’s book, Kenya, Bridging Ethnic Divides, in Nairobi.
The Interior CS said the government has been in the forefront in ensuring that all Kenyans are able to access equal opportunities.
“Development should not be crippled because of small things like tribalism, which can be addressed if we speak with one voice as Kenyans,” said Dr Matiang’i.
He asked his Education counterpart Amina Mohamed to ensure that books on national cohesion are taught in teachers training colleges so that they can be ambassadors of peace and cohesion to children in primary schools.
“Our children need to be taught the importance of national integration and peace at the early stages of life,” said Dr Matiang’i.
In her book, Ms Nderitu who served in the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) between 2009 and 2013, observes that positive policies and inter-ethnic spaces can be used to counter negative influences that lead to fear, exclusion and violence.
The book also highlights strategies that NCIC has used to deal with negative ethnicity that usually reaches the apex during electioneering period.