THE STANDARD: According to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), this is the worst division to be witnessed in the country a year to a General Election.

Commission Chairman Francis ole Kaparo said the current state of harmony in the country is evenly fragmented with loud drums of war. "...but we are too shy to speak about it claiming every day that we are a peace-loving nation, because we do not want to scare away tourists. We must confess people are getting killed every day especially from ethnic violence," said Mr Kaparo at a cohesion meeting in Nairobi yesterday.

The commission has a cohesion index that is at 40 per cent. Compared to 2012, a year before the 2013 general elections, when the index was at 56 per cent. The situation in the country, he said, has immensely deteriorated due to the current political heat. The country is now a more divided society than ever with counties leading in perpetuating violence despite efforts to reduce tension. Kaparo said come 2017, Kenya should brace itself for a possible violence emanating from counties' leadership wrangles.

"When we went to elections in 2013 no one knew the importance of governors, MCAs, or senators. But it is now known how much power they wield; we are already seeing rival leaders salivating," he said. Because of this, Kaparo noted that rival leaders are going to have their tribesmen rally behind them to clinch the important positions at the grassroots. "If the marginalised ethnic groups are not brought on board and resources evenly distributed it will be worse." Constitutional expert Yash Pal Ghai said the only way to deal with tribal politics is to make it mandatory for parties to have members spread across counties.
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