Elders from communities of Agikuyu, Kalenjin and Luo have formed a pact that seeks to spread messages of peace across the country to help enhance nationhood. Speaking at Jalaram Hospital in Kisumu town when they paid a visit to the ailing chair of Luo Council of Elders, Ker Opiyo Otondi, the elders led by chairman of Gikuyu, Embu and Meru Association (GEMA), Bishop Peter Njenga, and his Kalenjin counterpart, Major (Rtd) John Seii, disclosed that they were behind the truce that culminated in the famous handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Bishop Peter Njenga said elders from the three communities have been holding meetings with top politicians, one of which was held at Methodist Hotel in Nairobi where the former Prime Minister met them leading to the peace pact between the two leaders.
They said since then, the country has witnessed unprecedented peace that must be enhanced.Major (Rtd) John Seii said that for some time the country has not been on the right track due to frequent political squabbles that has culminated in bad blood between various communities.“This is what we have been asking for, and as elders we have been advocating for inculcating of value systems to both the youth and our political leaders to stop bad blood that has been witnessed amongst some communities in the country,” he added.
Mzee Seii called on politicians to curb their selfish political interests that he blamed for the past squabbles and conflicts that have bedevilled the country. He added that the youth and leaders should begin to develop cultural value system so as to strengthen their togetherness and focus more on peace.
Seii added that the elders want to turn the tables by restoring their values and politics for the young generation to ensure that politics is not tribalistic.“If the young generation will be unable to work, the elders will take over so as to reverse the interest of individuals and focus more on the culture of issues,” he added.
He also added that there are other important issues to deal with like trade and other activities that will improve the country’s economy rather than fighting for political power. Stephen Oludho, the CEO, Luo Council of Elders, echoed similar sentiments and asked some politicians to support the truce and stop blaming Raila.
“Our African culture does not show justice apart from a handshake, the greatest justice in African society is a handshake,” said Oludho.
Oludho also said that the young generation has inherited tribalism from them and now is the time to say enough is enough and walk together in unity as Kenyans. Christopher Ogenda Odayo, the deputy chairman Council of Elders Kisumu County, appreciated the elders for what they have done and said that Kisumu would be the starting point of peace in the country.