The Organizing Committee of the Second International Conference on Peace, Security for Social Enterprises conducted peace walks, which took place in seven districts.
Events kicked off at Mount Kenya University (MKU) campuses in the cities of Thika, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nairobi, Parklands Law Campus, Mombasa and Meru.
The Peace Walks aim to sensitize communities to the need to embrace and maintain peace at all times, and even more so during the campaign period and afterwards.
Election-related tensions and violence disrupt social security, peace and economic development.
Kenya has a history of post-election violence, the collapse of the rule of law and an economic downturn driven by fiercely contested campaigns and disputed election results.
This has resulted in loss of life, destruction of property and loss of business and disruption of livelihoods for long periods in the country.
Conflicts between different communities or ethnic groups over resources such as water and pasture also remain a key challenge that has threatened the very heart of peace and security.
Cultural practices such as cattle rustling often lead to internal conflicts between communities, destroying their lives and livelihoods. As a result, poverty, illiteracy and vulnerability become a description of their lives.
The Peace Conference aims to involve the relevant authorities in peace and security issues and to educate citizens on the importance of peaceful coexistence. This includes the condemnation of perpetrators of violence, especially during the election campaign, as well as educating the public about the need to report cases or planned violence.
Kicking off the event, MKU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Deogratius Jaganyi said that the first International Conference on Peace, Security and Social Enterprise 2017 was successfully held at the Safari Park Hotel shortly before this year’s general elections.
“Kenya is a global center of international ties. Therefore, it is important to note that the peace agenda in Kenya is of both national and international importance. Hence the choice of a conference with international status,” he said.
As the country prepares for the August 2022 national general election, MKU is preparing to host the second International Conference on Peace, Security and Social Enterprise, taking place between May 18 virtually and physically at MKU’s Mwai Kibaki Convention Center at the Thika Campus will be held on 20th and 20th, 2022.
The theme of the conference is “The Role of Universities, Public and Private Sectors in Peacebuilding and Socio-Economic Development”. In preparation for this conference, the University is hosting a range of pre-conference activities to ensure greater conference impact.
“The Peace Walk is one of the activities designed to raise awareness of all of us about the need for peace in our community,” said Prof. Jaganyi. MKU Proc Chancellor Dr. Vincent Gaitho and the institution’s founding member, Dr. Jane Nyutu, attended the event.
The university will also host several pre- and post-conference activities including webinars, many more peace walks and other activities leading up to the general election and beyond.
Prof. Jaganyi thanked the hike’s partners at all campuses, including the security agents, religious communities and educational institutions, and warned that peace, like the air we all breathe, is a very essential factor for the survival of Kenya’s institutions and the nation both individually as well as collectively. “There is a strong unwritten international consensus on the need to discuss peace and security in Kenya today due to ongoing radicalization as well as fears of escalating election-related violence,” he said.