The Star (Nairobi)

30 November 2012

Kenya: Don't Flee Naivasha, Women Tell Residents

Women in Naivasha have launched a campaign to persuade register as voters in the area.

Fearing the recurrence of the last general election violence, members of some communities are travelling upcountry to register in the home constituencies.

Over 400 women from different communities yesterday met in a Naivasha hotel where calls to register in the town were echoed.

During the meeting called Naivasha TNA coordinator Karimi Waiganjo, the women took a vow to reject leaders out to split residents on tribal lines.

"This is a special day that women from all corners of this constituency have come together and pledged to maintain peace," he said.

Karimi called on the women to elect leaders "who will deliver" and shun those preaching divisive politics.

The women admitted that they were most affected by the 2007/08 post-election violence and "cannot bear to witness such violence again".

Esther Njeri said the women agreed to register and vote in Naivasha and encourage their colleagues not to flee from the town.

"Women suffered a lot at the height of the violence and we have agreed to be in the forefront of encouraging peace during and after the elections," she said.

Her sentiments were echoed by Catherine Baraza who noted that some of the communities were alienated during the PEV.

She was however quick to note that this had changed and those affected had agreed to register and vote in the town.

"Some of us had started fleeing back to our rural homes to register as voters there but due to the prevailing peace we shall now vote in Naivasha," she said.

On her part, Norah Akinyi echoed the sentiments and challenged those thinking of fleeing the town to think otherwise.

During the colorful session, the women sang and danced as they marked the new found unity among various the various communities.

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