Midrift Hurinet, an NGO based in Nakuru town on Wednesday held a one-day workshop in support of community initiatives to manage the outcomes of the elections recently concluded elections.
The forum that was held at Seventh Day Adventist Church in Kivumbini was held with a view of de-politicizing the minds of the community members from the just concluded elections and attracted participants from Manyani, Lakeview, Teachers, Bondeni, Machanga and Kivumbini estates.
According to Joseph Omondi, one of the facilitators, depoliticizing’ the minds of the community members in managing the outcomes of elections is aimed at holding dialogues and discussions on the implications of election outcomes.
“We had a deeply politically polarized citizenry especially with the opposition (NASA) not accepting the outcome of the October 26 Presidential Election,” says Mr. Omondi adding that the forum sought to demystify perceptions of exclusion and sidelining that could spur violence.
Mr. Omondi added that the forum also provided a platform for community members to share and discuss issues of security bedeviling residents that most a time bears political undertones which might lead to tensions and eruption of violence.
The community forum targeted residents of Kivumbini Ward in Nakuru East and its environs, Community Policing Committees, security officers drawn from the Administration and Kenya Police Services, the National Government Administration and representatives from the Ministry of Interior and coordination.
In attendance were, Assistant County Commissioner for Nakuru Town East Samuel Muchiri, area Chief Ali Ibrahim, Senior Officer from KWS Ms. Nancy Akinyi, a representative from the Department of Social Services, members of the CPC and residents.
Participants engaged in a discussion around security issues that have had political underpinnings that they want police officers to address in order to de-escalate possibility of violence in Kivumbini which is a perceived opposition zone.
They raised concern over the rising insecurity at ‘Dark Corner’ in Kivumbini and youth who hang around the Lake Nakuru National Park gate from 5 PM robbing residents and local tourist off their valuables. Administration police from Manyani AP post undertook to follow-up and arrest the criminals.
The discussions were moderated by the Bondeni CPC chair Mr. Evans Ekariche and the Assistant County Commissioner for Nakuru East Mr. Samuel Muchiri who thanked Midrift Hurinet and Jamii Thabiti for holding the forums saying they had opened up opportunities for security agencies to interact with the residents who were sharing information about criminal activities.
“We get the opportunity to give feedback on issues raised in earlier meetings and also get to hear from the residents on where we need to improve, develop strategic interventions and also learn from them the new criminal activities,” said the ACC.
The forum also gives government agencies an opportunity to build strong partnerships and coordination platforms for peace and security.
Ms. Mary Kingumi, the officer from the ministry of social services undertook to partner with Midrift Hurinet in organizing a forum to help youth engaging in harmful substance abuse to support them find alternative income generating activities to be funded by funds like NG-CDF, youth fund, women fund and tenders.
From past forums by Midrift and Jamii Thabiti, trust between the police and residents had grown and there was an increase in the number of cases reported. Before, the residents always shied away from reporting to the police fearing repercussions.