Gov’t to target youth, boda boda operators to curb election violence

Gov’t to target youth, boda boda operators to curb election violence

The government is targeting the youth and boda boda operators to anchor its strategy against election violence in potential hotspots across the country ahead of the General Election.

Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i says the plan will see members of associations drawn from the two categories actively engaged in peace missions and civic education to be  rolled out in partnership with religious organisations and other stakeholders.

He said the campaigns will target potential hotspots that have already been mapped out and other regions that are likely to be flagged out by the ongoing data collection and analyses to deliver a violence-free poll.

“As the security sector, we do not conduct elections; we facilitate the IEBC to do it. We have to ensure we have peaceful elections and transition. We are committed to see to it that not a single bullet is shot, no citizen is hurt, and every Kenyan has the opportunity to take part in shaping governance and democracy in our country,” the CS said.

Addressing the 64th General Assembly of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) at the Jumuia Conference Centre in Limuru, Dr. Matiang’i said more registration clerks have been engaged to speed up the issuance of IDs to enable more youth to participate in the election.

Development partners will also be encouraged to engage the youth in peace education through a coordination framework that has already been developed as the government strives to break the jinx of violence that has historically dogged Kenya’s elections.

“We want to have an election that has zero displacement. We want the real will of the voters to be reflected in election results,” said Dr Matiang’i:

The CS who was accompanied by Chief Administrative Secretaries, Dr. Mercy Mwangangi (Health), David Osiany (Trade) and Zack Kinuthia (Sports) challenged the youth to seek elective offices and to help promote value-based and peaceful politics.

On the security situation in the country, the CS said the recent arrest of terror suspects in Mombasa and the ongoing operation against cattle-rusting were a testimony to the heightened alertness among security agencies.

He also called for responsible use of social media amid growing concerns over hate and vitriol spewed online. Although the government was not keen on gagging free speech, it will crackdown on those who abused the right, he said.