Residents of Nakuru Saturday got the opportunity to interact with their favourite artistes and get entertained during a peace concert that took place just a few days to the general elections.
Famous artistes - Sautisol Band, Evelyn Wanjiru, Mercy Masika, Triomio, Octopizzo, DJ Joe Mfalme and Nadia Mukami - were among the numerous artistes who took to the stage at the Nakuru Athletics club with a message to Kenyans to maintain peace, before, during and after the elections.
The concert, organised by the Nation Media Group and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) and sponsored by the United Nations, Haki Africa and the European Union, among others, was the culmination of several roadshows and town hall meetings that have been happening in the Rift Valley over the past one week.
Nation Media Group Chief Executive Stephen Gitagama urged the youth to maintain peace, vote wisely and not allow selfish individuals to incite them to violence.
“Like every other peaceful Kenyan, we want a peaceful election. It is important that the country stays in peace before, during and after elections. Every Kenyan who is eligible to vote should do so in a peaceful manner,” Mr Gitagama said.
NCIC Chairman Samuel Kobia, while addressing the residents who turned up for the concert, said the commission was committed to ensure that there was peace in the country.
“I urge Kenyans to be vigilant in defending peace and advocating for a peaceful electioneering period,” Rev Kobia said.
Earlier, the peace caravan dubbed “Mimi Mkenya- Elections Bila Noma” made stops in Naivasha, Molo, Elburgon, Rongai, Turi and other parts of Nakuru County.
Rev Kobia said that the peace caravan initiative was started in December 2020 by the commission with the aim of reaching many Kenyans.
According to Mr Kobia, two weeks ago they brought together the four presidential candidates and, after a successful engagement, they signed the NCIC political decency and accountability charter.
He said that the candidates also signed the Mkenya Daima peace and leadership pledge.
“We want to join hands and say that as NCIC we know that there is no particular sector, institution, organization and community that can achieve the peace that we want without working together, we know we can make it,”said Mr Kobia.
The NCIC has been at the forefront, advocating for peace and cohesion among Kenyans of all walks of life, as it is mandated by the constitution.
The commission two months ago marked a number of counties in the country, among them Nakuru, as some of the perceived blackspots for violence and encouraged the government to be vigilant.
Kenyans will hold the General Election on Tuesday, August 9.
Nakuru residents who attended the concert yesterday said they wanted peace to dominate, as it gives an enabling environment for prosperity and development.
While commissioning the caravan on Friday, Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Maalim Mohammed assured Kenyans of a peaceful August 9 General Election.
Mr Maalim said that for the past one year the government has been initiating peace building in various parts of the region in a bid to strengthen cohesion among communities.
According to Mr Maalim, for the past two months he has been traversing 13 counties in the Rift Valley region meeting with locals and different security agents.
He said that communities have pledged their support and commitment to peace saying that election is a one-day event but that they will remain Kenyans and neighbours thereafter.
“We want to be part of history to see that election is exceptional from what has been happening in the country, especially in Rift valley region which remains the heartbeat of this country,” said Mr Maalim.
Nakuru County Commissioner, Erastus Mbui said that the government is ready. He urged the youth to play their part and stay peaceful after casting their vote.