MKU Set To Host International Peace Conference
Everything is in place for the Second International Conference on Peace, Security, and Social Enterprise, which will be held at Mount Kenya University from the 18th to the 20th of May.
The three-day forum will bring together stakeholders from the education, government, and private sectors.
It comes amid an increase in banditry attacks in semi-arid areas and rising political tensions ahead of the August 9th General Elections.
The conference, which will be held at the Mwai Kibaki Convention Centre on Mount Kenya University’s main campus in Thika, aims to provide a forum for dialogue and discussion on issues of peace, security, and social enterprise for sustainable development at the global level, particularly in Kenya during an electioneering period.
The conference’s theme, according to MKU Pro Chancellor Dr Vincent Gaitho, is “The role of universities, public and private sectors in peace building for socio-economic development.”
“MKU believes that by all of us joining hands, this conference will make a huge contribution in making not only Kenya but the world to embrace peace and tolerance at all times. I appeal to you that we all join hands to promote a peaceful and a tolerant society,” Gaitho said.
The chief guest is expected to be Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, with other notable speakers including NCIC chairman Dr Samuel Kobia, Prof Mark Charlton of De Montfort University UK, the chairman of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) Ms Anne Makori, and Kenya’s ambassador to Belgium Prof Bitange Ndemo.
Earlier this year, MKU Vice-Chancellor Professor Deogratius Jaganyi, represented by Dr. Evans Mwiti, decried the cycle of violence that occurs every year before and after each General Election, saying, “MKU has decided to make contributions to minimize if not eradicate the impact of such violence during elections or any other time.”
During the meeting, NCIC Chairman Dr. Samuel Kobia, Chairman, called for long-term solutions to tribal conflicts, claiming that elections do not always benefit Kenyans.
“Repeating lies that we heard in the past that basically made people from other ethnicities unfavorable companions,” Dr. Kobia said, urging parents to stop discouraging their children from marrying from certain ethnicities.
“We also have a serious trust deficit between Kenyans and their institutions. For example the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) suffer a very low trust score among the populace. This fact means that whenever the IEBC declares a result, there is automatic doubt on the part of the loser,” he said.
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Dr. Gaitho expressed regret that Kenya had seen firsthand the consequences of intolerance in several instances, a path that should never be repeated.
“At MKU, we reckon that institutions of learning have an important role to play not only in teaching but also in imparting values of tolerance, mutual respect and embracing diversity among the youths of this region,” he said.
Dr. Gaitho stated that MKU’s institute of security studies, justice, and ethics offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs on peace, security, and justice, while many other institutions offer related programs.