Elders urge leaders to unite, stop divisive politics

National Council of Elders Chairman Phares Rutere.

Photo credit: Waweru Wairimu | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The elders reiterated their commitment towards uniting the country through robust peace initiatives.
  • They toldto direct their energy towards preaching peace and uniting Kenyans.
  • Governor Murungi asked the government to ensure that the rights for the elderly are safeguarded.

Kenyan leaders have been asked to shun divisive politics and work together for national cohesion and development.

The National Council of Elders said politicians should desist from uttering disparaging remarks, inciting Kenyans and abusing other leaders as this could fuel violence and threaten political stability.

Led by the council’s Chairman Phares Rutere, patron Kung’u Muigai and Secretary-General Joseph King’ori, the elders said the country can only realise development if leaders embrace a united front.

Col King’ori said leaders should stop insulting each other as this can cause divisions along tribal lines.

Respect president

Following recent remarks by MPs Oscar Sudi and Johana Ng’eno against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his family, the council demanded respect for the head of State.

“The President must be accorded the respect he deserves as the symbol of unity and authority. Leaders must remain united for the betterment of our nation,” said Mr Rutere.

Mr Rutere (left) cuts a cake to celebrate his 80th birthday on September 12, 2020.

Photo credit: Waweru Wairimu | Nation Media Group

The elders spoke during Mr Rutere’s 80th birthday at his BBC home. The ceremony was attended by, among others, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi, Methodist Church Presiding Bishop Joseph Ntombura, Chuka University Vice Chancellor Erastus Njoka and elders from various parts of the country.

Mr Ahmed Sett, the council’s treasurer and also Isiolo Interfaith Network chairman, appealed to leaders to exercise sobriety in their work and direct their energy towards preaching peace and uniting Kenyans.

“Kenyans should not allow politicians to divide them on tribal lines but should continue living in peace with each other and with their neighbours,” said Mr Sett.

Njuri Ncheke Council of Elders led by Chairman Linus Kathera reiterated their commitment in working with the government of the day in helping the President deliver on his Big Four Agenda.

Guests at the event praised Mr Rutere as a peace ambassador who has the community at his heart, adding that he has shown exemplary leadership qualities.

Governor Murungi celebrated him for having contributed towards the merger of the two Njuri Ncheke splinter groups whose wrangles had previously affected their work.

“He played a key role in uniting the two groups, transforming Njuri Ncheke and putting it on the Kenyan map,” said Mr Murungi.

Mr Rutere receives a birthday present from Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi.

Photo credit: Waweru Wairimu | Nation Media Group

Prof Njoka said the octogenarian has a wealth of experience which leaders should emulate.

“He is down to earth, friendly and concerned about the welfare of others. We all have a lot we can learn from him,” the VC said.

The elders reiterated their commitment towards uniting the country through robust peace initiatives and mediation talks.

Governor Murungi asked the government to ensure that the rights for the elderly, just like other groups, are safeguarded as envisaged in the Constitution.