THE STAR: The biggest political tussles in 2017 will be at county level as governors and MCAs wield powers no one had before, the NCIC has said.

 

Chairman Francis ole Kaparo said supremacy battles are no longer among national parties but communities in devolved units.

"During the last election, no one knew who MCAs were or how powerful they are. Look at governors; these people control budgets worth billions of shillings. So you tell me," Kaparo said.

He further cited Mandera county, where he said 54,000 out of 80,000 people have relocated to Ethiopia because of county-level political differences.

Kaparo asked all Kenyans to help him preach the message of peace to avert violence, as was the case after the disputed March 2013 general election.

"I call upon everyone to help me. I have never had a more difficult task in my life, neither have I had a more important role," he said. "Let us unite and stop things that can cause ethnicity and violence."

The chairman asked Cord leaders agitating for reforms through demonstrations to exercise their constitutional right without fanning political animosity.

"As you demonstrate, you do not have to force me to think the way you think. You do not have to go around destroying people's property," he said.

He spoke at Laico Regency on Tuesday during the 49th series of bimonthly talks organised by the Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations.

Kaparo said he will not stop criticising politicians for their actions even if it means losing his job.

"I am not afraid. You can remove me from here but I will have somewhere to go. You can remove me from here but that cannot make me lose my Kenyan citizenship," he said.
Regarding politicians detained on hate speech charges, the chairman said he is glad they are looking to use their experiences to preach peace despite their political affiliations.

He lauded the initiative noting: "During our 2012 scientific research on cohesion, we were at 56.4 per cent."

"That means we are an almost evenly-divided society. If we measure our cohesion index we are probably at 20 per cent."

Kaparo asked youths to resist the temptation of being misused by politicians.

"Do not cause others trouble. You are more useful alive than dead," he advised.

Kaparo said the NCIC is working with IT experts to nab those using social media to fan animosity. People are most notorious on WhatsApp, he said, adding they are afraid f being monitored on Twitter and Facebook.

"Use your IT expertise for good. By next week when the experts finalise what they are doing, we should be seeing some people at Pangani," he said.

Eight politicians were arrested last week and detained for three days for allegedly issuing inciting remarks .

They met Cord leaders Raila Odinga, Moses Wetang'ula and Kalonzo Msuyoka for lunch on Tuesday, a meeting expected to discuss national cohesion