Since the return to multi-party democracy, Kenya’s General Elections have been marred by violence in largely multi-ethnic regions of the country. The most extensive violence of this nature was witnessed in the aftermath of the pronouncement of the presidential elections results following the 2007 General Elections. The country is now facing the first General Election after the threat to sustained unity witnessed in 2008 and under a new governance structure instituted under the 2010 Constitution.

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission established under the National Cohesion and Integration Act, 2008 is under Section 25 (j) of the Act mandated to; ‘identify and analyze factors inhibiting the attainment of harmonious relations between ethnic communities, particularly barriers to their participation in social, economic, commercial, financial, cultural and political endeavours. The Commission is required to recommend to the Government and any other relevant public or private body how to overcome these factors’.

NCIC was recently engaged in monitoring of the political party nominations process that was conducted nationwide with a view to identifying potential triggers to violence in the coming General Elections.

The violence that was recently experienced in some parts of the country including the discontent expressed by Kenyans in addition to our findings have highlighted the need for concerted efforts to sustain the relative peace we have enjoyed in the last five years as we approach the General Elections.

NCIC thus makes the following recommendations:

a)The late delivery of ballot material in areas where there exists stiff competition between aspirants and/or parties poses a trigger to violence and should be mitigated

The outcome of our monitoring shows that areas where a number of parties are deemed stronger and/or where equally strong candidates are present, undoubtedly remain vulnerable to rumor mongering and political manipulation. It is also noted that the fact that aspirants were still able to ‘party-hop’ means that in many areas the contest that could have been concluded with party nominations have been postponed.

b)Conduct of Campaign Supporters

It was apparent (from the monitoring exercise) that the aspirants were more responsive to discussions to keep peace during campaigns but remained susceptible to manipulation from radical supporters. The need to ensure that supporters are not allowed to easily congregate around the tallying areas must be emphasized to control mob tendencies.

We appeal to all Kenyans to maintain peace at all times as they practice their Constitutional right to support candidates of their choice. They should not trample on other citizens’ rights as they continue to enjoy theirs.

c)Complete Impartiality of the Police and Administration

The police have a specific enforcement role that must not be diluted by threats to peace. There is need to ensure that all officers working with the National Police Service, including special police officers appointed under the powers conferred to the Inspector General of Police, sustain law and order around the polling and tallying areas and have adequate knowledge of their roles and mandate. Kenya is raw from the 2007/8 violence and police impartiality will be paramount in ensuring peaceful General Elections.

d)All candidates need to be conversant with the current provisions of relevant laws that relate to keeping peace and order.

The fast pace and ease of access to communication channels such as social media and cell phones must not be abused or corrupted to relay unconfirmed information.

Only confirmed results should be relayed to avoid miscommunication. Those who engage in such shortcuts should face the law.


  1. Whereas prompt delivery of materials is essential for all polling stations, IEBC should put extra effort in potential hot spots where delivery of polling material need to be prioritized.
  2. The suspicion Kenyans exhibited against the police force following the 2008 violence still exists. The need to act firmly and uphold the law is key if wananchi are to work with the National Police Service. The National Police Service need to ensure that all persons recruited and deployed at polling and tallying centers are conversant with the law.
  3. Political parties need to ensure that all persons to whom they issue Party Certificates are sensitized on relevant laws especially sections of the NCI Act 2008 regarding hate speech and other laws relating to keeping peace and non-incitement to violence.
  4. Elections are important in any democratic society but the continuity of the nation is bigger than each and all. Thus the general populace needs to respect the law and remember at all times to put KENYA KWANZA!


Mzalendo N. Kibunjia, PhD., EBS


  a. UWIANO PLATFORM: The Commission together with the National Steering Committee on Peace building and Conflict Management (NSC), PeaceNet Kenya and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) came together to establish a Platform for Peace dubbed UWIANO. UWIANO is a Swahili word that connotes “cohesion”. However, these four Partners were not only concerned with contributing towards delivery for a Peaceful National Referendum Process, but were keen to see to it that peace building and conflict management initiatives are scaled up towards in the just concluded general elections and beyond. UWIANO therefore, is a conflict preventive strategy that provides space for a wide range of partners, actors and stakeholders to build synergy and leverage their efforts for conflict prevention and peace building in Kenya.   b. INTEGRATED PUBLIC COMPLAINTS REFERRAL MECHANISM (IPCRM):  The Commission supported the Integrated Public Complaints and Referral Mechanism (IPCRM) an initiative of the Ethics...
Development for international Development (DFID)
The Department for International Development (DFID) leads aim is to end extreme poverty. DFID helps in tackling the global challenges including poverty and disease, mass migration, insecurity and conflict. As a result the Commission has continued to benefit from the DFID program. Some of the key highlights of DFID include supporting media campaigns with an aim of influencing the general public to embrace tolerance in an environment with diverse beliefs that often leads to conflict. A point in case is during the just concluded elections DFID through UNDP supported tier one radio programs that targeted over six communities. As a result the Commission reached over 10 million people with tolerance messages.  
European Union (EU)
Through UNDP, the Commission has also benefitted from EU. Hence, EU has supported programs. EU funds are transmitted through UNDP. Some of the programs that include; media campaigns, sensitization, training, reconciliation and mediation forums among other key strategic programs.  
Sida Kenya
Through UNDP, the Commission has greatly benefitted from SIDA in a number of ways. Consequently, SIDA has supported programs geared towards CVE capacity building on the need for peaceful coexistence. Other programs that have been supported include strengthening of Amani (peace) clubs that have been rolled out in over 1000 schools in Kenya. As a result national values have been inculcated among school children through peace activities in peace clubs. It is important to note that all the SIDA support is channeled through UNDP.
United Nation (UN) women kenya
The Constitution of Kenya 2010 provides a legal framework for the government to fulfill basic rights, for the marginalize and vulnerable groups. This is in tandem with the Commission mandate hence the UN-Women has in the past supported the Commission programs geared towards Counter Violent Extremism (CVE). Hence the Commission through the support of UNWomen has established a network of women in CVE in five counties namely; Lamu, Mandera, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale. These counties have been hit most by the insurgence of terrorism groups targeting innocent unengaged youth. Through this UNWomen program the Commission has reached out to the most vulnerable youth through empowering women with skills on how to identify and rehabilitate the youth who already are members.  
Unted Nation Development program (UNDP)
The Commission is a key beneficiary of the United Nation Development Programs (UNDP) in Kenya. The program aims to address poverty, inequality and exclusion in an integrated and support communities and government achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth (UNDP Kenya). To this end, the Commissions key advocacy programs have been fully supported and sponsored by this program. As a result a number of women, youth, Community Based Organization among others have been trained and sensitized of the mandate of NCIC as well as their role in ensuring a peaceful integrated society.  

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