Community elders offer to guide national dialogue

Elders from three communities have pledged to spearhead efforts to unite the country following the unity deal between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga.

The elders led by Kalenjin Council of Elders chairman Major (rtd) John Seii and his Gema Council of Elders’ counterpart Bishop Peter Njenga, pledged to take the lead in efforts to heal the country of divisions caused by last year’s election.

Seii said elders were ready to play their traditional role of guiding society. “Our coming together as elders is good. We want to extend the unity to the youth and the leaders,” Seii said in Kisumu town when he and Njenga paid the Luo Council of Elders chairman Opiyo Otondi a courtesy call.

National dialogue

The elders said that while the deal between the two leaders was welcome, it must culminate in national dialogue.

Seii said the handshake between Uhuru and Raila should not be merely symbolic, but should be the beginning of a process that would lead to national conversation aimed at uniting the country.

“The handshake was a sign of dialogue and expression of peace.  But we the elders want to see it lead to national talks that will end disunity,” said Seii.

Njenga warned leaders against fueling divisive politics and instead work together towards realisation of development. He said Kenyans are yearning for progress, not political gimmicks.

“We want to see a leadership that is fruitful for the benefit of Kenyans,” he said.

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