Kenya: Matiangi Urges Tolerance Among Kenyans, Assures New Cohesion Commission of Support

11 December 2019

Nairobi — Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi has urged tolerance among Kenyans on diversity of opinion, after meeting new appointees for the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC).

While assuring the commissioners of ministry's support, Matiangi emphasized the need to embrace diversity and differences in opinions.

"We have to learn to tolerate each other there is never going to be a time in this country that we will all sing one song, face one direction and behave the same way, God created us differently and we should enjoys each other's company and appreciate that we have different opinions and that should never be a course for incitement," he stated during a media briefing on Wednesday.

Matiangi acknowledged the work done by the previous commission and asked the new team to continue building the institutional culture of the commission.

NCIC's Chairperson Reverend Sam Kobia said the commission will endeavor to promote national ethos and cohesion starting with institutions of learning in a bid to have young Kenyans embrace diversity from an early age.

Kobia also said during their tenure the commissioners will facilitate activities that will motivate Kenyans to attain value-based work ethic.

"The issues of cohesion and integration touch every facet of Kenyan lives; from family, development, the economy and progress and as a commission we wish to assure Kenyans that we shall endeavor to cohere the diverse identities in Kenya into a rainbow of one people, one nation and one destiny," he said.

Kobia said the commission will develop educational and training programmes to promote national pride.

Kobia is a Methodist clergyman and the first African to be elected as the Secretary General of the World Council of Churches serving between 2004 and 2009.

He also served as a commissioner of the Judicial Service Commission from 2013 to 2015 when he resigned.

Other members of the commission who attended the Wednesday meeting with Matiangi include former Rangwe MP Philiph Okundi, Wambui Nyutu, former Nairobi County Executive Committee Member Danvas Makori, Samuel Kona, Fatuma Tabwara, former Vihiga Woman Representative Dorcas Kedogo and former Mandera East MP Abdulaziz Ali Farah.

The commission takes over from the previous team that was led by former National Assembly Speaker Francis Ole Kaparo.

The commissioners assume office at a time when the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report recommending the reconfiguration of the national executive has sparked a debate fueling divisions in the political arena.

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