By Fidel Castro
We are at a time when the political anxiety in the country has taken a worrying trajectory, with a rigorous campaign trail and a fast-approaching general election. With such a trend, Crime Si Poa has taken an initiative to engage the youth and members of the society in a street talk on crime and peace ahead of the August general election, in a bid to avert the possibility of violence.
This month the street conversation has been held along the Kware and Mandazi Streets in Ongata Rongai, Kajiado County. Encountering members of society, mostly the youth, has been an eye-opening expedition. We have come across raw issues affecting the community and what would be the reason for unrest in such a time.
As we traversed the streets of Rongai, it was evident from our interactions that most citizens are pro-peace. They are trying as much as they can to keep calm. However, the mood set by political leaders in the country is to push communities to fight each other to gain political mileage.
“We are peace-loving people, no one wants to cause chaos, we are trying to sensitize ourselves not to cause chaos before, during and after the elections to avert our businesses from being affected by violence,” said Godana, one of the young business people in Rongai, adding “We urge our political leaders to caution themselves against using divisive statements in political rallies. This is what anger supports from different political factions and eventually causes violence.”
Entrepreneurs and business owners lauded the effort by Crime Si Poa to ensure a crime-free society, sighting the urgent need for expanding the good work to the interior parts of Rongai where crime has exasperated.
“I appreciate the work you are doing in our community; indeed, we should keep calm during this electioneering period and continue with our businesses after the elections are done,” Stephen Kenyatta, a garbage collector in Ongata Rongai.
According to the youth and the community members, most youth-related crimes during this electioneering period stem from the lack of job opportunities. The issue of unemployment continues to be a risk to the vision of attaining peace.
“The government should look out for the youth and give us jobs or at least create the opportunities. We are ready to do any work. The youth as well should take personal initiative and create opportunities for themselves.,” Allan Ngare, a business owner.
Crime si Poa continues spreading the peace message through available platforms at whatever cost for we believe that peace is a jewel worth paying the price for.