The Nation Media Group (NMG) will spearhead peace campaigns across Kenya to ensure there is harmony before, during and after the August 9 elections. This follows the launch of the ‘Mimi Mkenya’ initiative, a six-month drive that will involve a call to leaders to conduct themselves peacefully and avoid divisive politics.
The campaign involves issue-based engagements with leaders, publishing content that promotes peace, conducting on-ground engagements with Kenyans and denying space and airtime to hatemongers.
At the launch of the initiative in Nairobi on Fevruary 23rd, 2022, NMG chairman Dr. Wilfred Kiboro said the company’s aim was to ensure that Kenya conducts elections without any disruptions and maintains the stability of the society and the economy. He said NMG would champion an issues-driven electoral process.
“We will ensure that we cover the election in a manner that does not fuel tensions because the media can also contribute significantly to creating more tension,” he said.
“We will cover all candidates fairly, equally, objectively and fearlessly. We will be very intentional and give space in our various platforms to people and voices with messages of peace, to people who promote brotherhood, people who are going to promote good neighbourliness.”
Observing that some politicians have already been engaging in divisive politics, he said the company would not publish content that would disrupt peace.
“There will be no space in our platforms for demagogues, political inciters and hatemongers. These irresponsible utterances pose a serious problem to the maintenance of law and order and could create chaos during this period when political temperatures are high, and we need to tell our leaders and those seeking political offices that they need to tone down their language and act with decorum at public rallies,” he said.
The event was attended by corporate leaders, diplomats from Africa and Europe, Kenya’s celebrated entertainment and sports personalities. Speakers emphasised the need to maintain harmony.
“Kenya is for all of us and it’s the only home we know. Each one of us has a duty to say no to this slippery path of self-destruction that our politicians are leading us to. This is the initiative that we are launching as NMG, as citizens of this country,” Dr Kiboro said.
ICT Chief Administrative Secretary Nadia Ahmed, who was chief guest, reminded Kenyans, notably women and young people, that they had a responsibility to decide how Kenya would emerge from the elections.
“If today we decide not to take an aggressive path, but instead a peaceful path, Kenya, come August 9, will be very peaceful,” Ms Ahmed said.
National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) chairman Samuel Kobia welcomed NMG’s decision to deny space and airtime to people spreading inflammatory messages. But Dr Kobia also reminded Kenyans that it was everybody’s responsibility to ensure there is peace.
“In this troubled region, Kenya is an anchor of peace, an anchor of stability. So this election, we want Kenya to be peaceful and continue setting the pace for the region,” said Mr Meles Tekea, Ethiopia’s ambassador to Kenya
NB: Should you wish to join the peace initiative, please contact Shelmith Kamau at email@example.com