In his book The Grand Coalition Daniel Macaria brings out the activities leading to formation of the Kibaki-Raila led administration and how the political protagonists in the country failed to utilize but rather squandered the opportunity of finding a long time solution of ethnicity in the country as a result of the post election violence. With fresh memories of communities rising against each other, an opportune moment had presented itself for the political leadership, technocrats and the clergy to preach a unifying message of peace and come up with mechanisms of creating awareness on the negative impact of ethnicity that had polarized the nation.
After doing so, then it was necessary for the formation of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission to now dig deep on the root causes of ethnicity which are the historical political and social injustices so as to bring cohesion among the different tribes of this country.
It’s almost a decade since it came into place and the commission is still way back from achieving its core mandate which was to bring a long term peaceful culture in the country and not a culture of hate free speeches and comments among political protagonists. For a long time the commission has invested much energy on the latter getting itself trapped in the center stage of politics and have turned a blind eye to the root causes of negative ethnocentrism that fueled the 2007/2008 post-election violence. This has created an aura of mistrust and hopelessness by Kenyans especially the victims towards the commission.
We are several months away from the general elections and still a larger percentage of Kenyans are divided by ethnicity rather than political ideologies. By now the commission ought to have made necessary strides in national healing, reconciling communities and championing of ethnic related conflict transformation. Though peace is fragile, they needed to have invested much and focused on dealing with origin of tribalism to curb fear among Kenyans anytime general election approaches. By doing so Kenyans who are ensnared in tribalism would have become more sophisticated and would have changed their perception on matters election and politics in general.
The commission needs to propel an agenda of peace not only among politicians but among the trustees of the nation which is the citizenry. Concentrating much on dealing with the perpetrators of hate speech alone will not bring cohesion and integration among Kenyans. Addressing the root causes of tribalism is what will make the pride of this country never to vanquish and will provide an opportunity for Kenyans to enjoy the benefits of civilization.