Impact of Business Sector Engagement in Peace and Security Project in Nakuru

Impact of Business Sector Engagement in Peace and Security Project in Nakuru

The Business Sector Engagement in Peace and Security project in Nakuru Town East and Nakuru Town West was facilitated by MIDRIFT HURINET in partnership with the REINVENT programme. The project aimed at ensuring that the relationship between the business community and enforcement officers is strengthened.

It also aimed at strengthening their collaboration and coordination. The engagements were made possible with support from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Stakeholders were drawn from the County Government of Nakuru, the City Management Board and County Inspectorate Department, representatives from; the Sub County Security Intelligence Committee, National Government Administrative officers, and the National Police Service. Also present were representatives from the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry -Nakuru Chapter, Persons with Disability, Market- leaders and traders from the two Sub Counties, Hawkers, and Bodaboda associations.

In the dialogue and engagement forums, the members were capacity strengthened on accountability between the city management Board and traders concerning their roles and duties, synergy in Conflict resolution, and Early Warning Early Response signs with a special focus on the role of each sector, Business sector engagement in Peacebuilding, emergency safety and security within their jurisdiction.

The City Inspectorate Department and the National Police Service were later taken through Human Rights Based Approaches and community-based policing principles which are important in;

  • Preventing crime and disorder, not regressing by force e.g. group grievances, insecurity, and intelligence leads police in ensuring there is no disorder.
  • Police power to fulfill their duties dependent on public approval of their existence. This stimulates public participation in giving feedback on the laws and if the constitution is clear on how to conduct the law.
  • Ensuring and maintaining the respect and approval of the public.
  • Guarantee inspectorate officers to be impartial whenever they apprehend offenders. It also touches on how the officers deal with the crowd during a demonstration before dispersing them.
  • Set the seal on Police officers and enforcement officers to practice self-reliance which will contribute to lower crime rates.

It corroborates global policing standards that places emphasis on;

  • Accountability and people-centeredness which focuses on respect for human resources.
  • Restraint in the use of force and arms
  • Ethical conduct by law enforcement officers
  • Respect for diversity.
  • Positive behavior that inspires public confidence and trust.

Kenyan Businesses have previously been affected by Political Conflicts which hinder their normal operation.

MIDRIFT HURINET strategic plan 2021-2025 lays emphasis on advocating, and strengthening local governance, policies, and laws for violence prevention and community safety.

It replies to Strategic Objective One on Peace and Security and its mission on empowering Citizens, State and Non-State actors to foster a Culture of Human Rights, Good Governance, Peace, and Security in Kenya.

The strategic plan responds to Sustainable Development Goals No;

  • 1(No Poverty)
  • 5(Gender Equality)
  • 8(Decent work and Economic Growth)
  • 9(Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure)
  • 16(Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions)
  • 17(Partnerships for the Goals)

The objectives of the Engagement were;

  • Coming up with solutions to factors affecting the productive business environment
  • Ensuring commitments between duty bearers and traders are adhered to
  • Comprehend and synergize the role of business operators and duty bearers in conflict prevention and resolution and how it contributes to sustainability and security within their jurisdictions
  • Enhancing Human rights-based approaches in business and due diligence from the duty bearers
  • Giving feedback on the challenges while coming up with solutions on areas of improvement with a view of drawing successes and lessons

From the forums, BodaBoda operatives started holding meetings to discuss their welfare and monitor activities of their members as a way of addressing insecurity situations in their area of operation, the members agreed on using the anonymous reporting platform, MULIKA UHALIFU 988, as a step towards handling confidentiality situations.

They also agreed on sensitizing parents to be responsible with their children’s movements in order to address their vulnerabilities and enroll them in TVETs to gain skills and proficiencies in their crafts.

Also forming part of the outcomes was, traders agreeing on getting licenses and acquainting themselves with what is required of them. Those with disabilities were urged to get medical reports from Government facilities to benefit from waivers and other empowerment programmes.

Traders were further requested not to have businesses under power lines and others erecting stalls above drainage systems as it poses threats to a safe business environment.

Others were;

  • Deployment of more police officers to patrol markets in Nakuru East and Nakuru West.
  • Having Police Posts in between the markets.
  • Having identification badges for those carrying luggage in the markets.

In coming up with commitments based on the number of forums attended and the knowledge shared by MIDRIFT HURINET, the city inspectorate held debriefing parades and sensitized its officers on the need to uphold confidentiality when cases are reported to them or ongoing investigations, lack of confidentiality was raised during the first forums.  Traders on their part agreed to share information with security agencies on threats to peace within the markets. Market leaders and traders have also been holding continuous meetings with law enforcement officers to discuss mitigation measures and security-related issues.

They also agreed to attend Public Participation forums and Chief Baraza’s to give their views on various matters affecting them, and familiarize themselves with approved licensing needs, existing laws, regulations, and requirements that govern their businesses.

Achievements of the Engagement.

  1. Improved relationship and trust- Most traders have confirmed that the relationship between them and enforcement officers has been made better courtesy of the project. They are now able to have conversations in a peaceful manner aimed at addressing conflicts within the markets.
  2. Improved Information sharing- The antagonistic relationship and hostile relationship could not allow traders to pass information to the enforcement officers, over the period of implementation, the project brought the two sides into forums a number of times, something that enhanced their trust level. This has made information sharing to get better as narrated by traders and enforcement officers in forums.
  3. Improved Confidentiality. Lack of confidentiality especially on the side of the enforcement officers made traders fear giving them information. In the very first conversations in this project, traders and market leadership decried the lack of confidentiality whenever they pass sensitive information to the officers, enforcement officers would tell other traders who gave them the information, completely affecting their relationship and information sharing. Through the Nakuru East enforcement officer’s parade, the matter was addressed and subsequently reinforced. The traders and market leaders narrated the mindset shift and confirmed that the issue had been to a bigger percentage addressed.
  4. Improved collaboration and coordination between traders and security agencies including enforcement officers. Towards the tail end of our intervention, traders and especially market leaders narrated better collaboration between them. Wakulima chairperson narrated how they have been collaborating with the OCS Central who calls them often to enquire on the situation security of the markets. The enforcement officers have equally conducted meetings with traders in collaboration with market leaders.
  5. Enforcement officers adopting the human rights-based approach in handling traders: Enforcement officers have embraced a mindset shift on how they handle those who break the bylaws. One enforcement officer, Mr. Kinuthia from Nakuru Town East, narrated how he applied the Human Rights Based approach in handling traders and hawkers who were operating along Kenyatta Avenue. He noted that the approach has effectively helped him to handle hawkers by sensitizing them. This made them shift the operation along Kenyatta Avenue to Wakulima and Top Market areas.

Boda boda chairman for the Shabaab ward in Nakuru West also narrated how he went to town but unfortunately parked his motorbike on a Zebra Crossing, an enforcement officer approached him in a friendly manner and followed the right procedures in addressing and making inquiries. The enforcement officer forgave him for being ignorant of the law. He appreciated the approach the enforcement officer took in handling him.

 MIDRIFT HURINET will continue to hold dialogue forums with traders and enforcement officers. This is to continue ensuring that their relationship becomes better to enable a peaceful business environment.

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